Carrie Crawford

Carrie Crawford
Board Chairperson and Co-Founder

Attorney Carrie Crawford is a co-founder and Chair of the Friends of the Congo. She has been an aggressive advocate for immigrants’ rights in the United States and has litigated numerous cases pertaining to humanitarian international law. As a practicing attorney, she has served as General Counsel for organizations providing services for the protection of human and civil rights of individuals living with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable populations including the Institute on African Affairs and JurisAids.

Attorney Crawford has served as a technical advisor to governments on environmental issues and was co-chair of the American Bar Association Africa Subcommittee which organized official delegations to South Africa and Nigeria. She is an Executive Board member of Congo Global Action and a member of the African Judicial Network. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and Morgan State University. She is admitted in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Paul Pumphrey
Co-Founder and Board Member

Paul Anthony Pumphrey has been an organizer and activist for over forty years. In 1998, Mr. Pumphrey co-founded Brothers and Sisters International (BASI) as a 501 C3 non-profit organization whose focus is economic development and human rights in the Americas, the Caribbean, and Africa.

Mr. Pumphery’s political work spans over four decades. In 1968, ‘78, ’83, and ‘88 Mr. Pumphrey was a deputy coordinator of crowd control for the Southern Christian Leadership’s (SCLC) Marches on Washington; and for the Stand for Children March in 1997. He volunteered with Jesse Jackson’s 1984 and 1988 bid for the US Presidency; and the Ron Daniel’s 1992 bid for the US Presidency.

Kwame Wilburg

Kwame Wilburg is a member of the Atlanta Friends of the Congo collective and also serves on its Board of Directors. He is the son of Francis and Veronica Wilburg, husband of Donna, father of Ayinde and Aziza and grandfather of Zameer Biko and Autumn Color.

Kwame is a Pan Africanist who hails from Guyana and is committed to
working for human rights, justice and dignity for Africans everywhere.

Kwame Wilburg is also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and formerly worked as a Case Manager for individuals with all forms of disabilities.

Samuel Yagase

Samuel Yagase is a grassroots leader mobilizing rural communities for justice and dignity in the Congo Basin in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is the co-founder and coordinator for GOVA – Group of Village Organizations for Autonomous Development. In 1992, GOVA formed as a collective initiative between the community, intellectuals, and traditional leaders for autonomy and self-determination after experiencing pain, disrespect, and broken promises with international aid organizations. Samuel works to promote dialogue and collaboration between the two medicines (Traditional and Modern) which strengthen the communities’ fight against many injustices (including traditional customs that discriminate against women) in a region where extractive industries continue to oppress and harm the local communities. GOVA’s struggle was first lifted up internationally in The Nation Magazine’s 2007 article The Fight to Save Congo’s Forest.

Samuel’s life has been dedicated to improving matters related to environmental racism, health, education, and local governance. He is featured in the short film called ‘Mabele Na Biso’ (Our Land). Since the film was made in 2012, his region has been experiencing a dramatic increase in flooding due to the climate crisis, destroying health centers, schools and agriculture. Samuel is part of a collective call for governments, large NGOs, and multinational corporations to prioritize the wisdom of those on the frontlines. With the reality of the climate emergency and new global focus on the Congo’s ‘carbon bomb’ in the peatlands, Samuel hopes there will be a fast shifting of power so there can be true collaboration for climate solutions and mitigation.

Maurice Carney
Executive Director

Maurice Carney is a co-founder and Executive Director of the Friends of the Congo. He has worked with Congolese for over twenty-five years in their struggle for peace, justice and human dignity.

Mr. Carney possesses two bachelors degrees, a masters degree and is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science. He has worked with civic associations in West Africa providing training on research methodology and survey. He served as the interim Africa working group coordinator for Rev. Jesse Jackson when he served as Special Envoy to Africa. Mr. Carney has worked as a research analyst for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and as a research consultant for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

For decades Maurice has been advocating for the dignity and inclusion of the Congolese civil society in all efforts for peace, democracy, food sovereignty, and climate justice. He provides consultation to political leaders in the US, Canada, Latin America, Africa, the UN as well as to international NGOs and funders. Interviews with Maurice can be found in the New York Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Democracy Now, Pacifica Radio Network and a number of other media outlets.

Executive Director

Maurice Carney

U.S. Coordinator

Lyndon “Kwame” Wilburg

EU Representative

Cesarine Mbone

Women’s Outreach

Bibian Aningina Tshefu

Events and Outreach Coordinator

Bibi Ndala

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Rafiki Cai

Social Media

Kwadjo Danso

Advisory Board

Dr. Samuel Livingston
Dr. Constant Kansango Tchandema
Mr. Dewey Boyd
Mrs. Leontine Mafuta
Dr. Neal Holmes
Mrs. Josette Zahinda
Mrs. Cesarine Mbone
Mrs. Marie Mossi
Ms. Ernestine Mwanasali
Mr. Prexy Nesbitt
Ms. Nancy M. Yowa
Ms. Rena Meyers-Dahlkamp