Meet the Uhuru Team!

Alison Hoehne

Store Manager

Alison Hoehne Ali grew up in London, England and came to the U.S. after college. She met the Uhuru Movement in 1978 in San Francisco. She realized she wanted more than anything to participate in black community campaigns for justice and self-determination. England was a major slave trader. She believes this is a way she can work to right that wrong. Ali loves working with the great staff, volunteers and shoppers. She also was part of the team that opened Uhuru Furniture in 1994. In her view, the APEDF mission gets to the root of the disparities in our city and shows the African community how to solve all its problems in a positive way. In her spare time, Ali loves cooking for friends and growing vegetables and flowers.

Ruby Gittelsohn

Sales Manager

Ruby Gittelsohn Ruby grew up in Oregon, attended school in NYC and made her living performing comedy on the street in New York and San Francisco for several years in the 1970s. She has been working at Uhuru Furniture both here and in California for 25 years. She wants to contribute to an organization that is actively changing the unjust conditions the black community faces right here. APEDF, Ruby believes, is the grassroots African community leading the way forward to overcome the problems and gives all of us a way to support the community’s right to the same healthy, happy and prosperous life that everyone wants. She is extremely honored to be able to work and volunteer at Uhuru Furniture. Ruby loves nature and natural science, yoga, raw food and riding her bike in all weather. She has a 15lb cat named Poodie who enjoys knocking small, important items off her desk and tearing up furniture.

Janus Bryant

Donations Administrator

Janus Bryant Born and raised in Philadelphia, Janus is from a family that encouraged self-empowerment, the upliftment of African people and the freedom of self-expression. As a global citizen, her Buddhist faith led her to unite with the mission of APEDF, a natural progression. Working as an Interior Designer and as the Donations Administrator for the past five years at Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles, she's excited for the opportunity to continue her life's mission of peace through culture and education by helping people create beautiful, unique living spaces with re-purposed furniture and household items while sustaining Mother Earth - keeping tons of furniture out of the landfills. Some of her other passions include genealogical research of her family, reading, and entrepreneurship. In the words of her mentor in faith, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, "The 21st century is the century of Africa." Uhuru!

Ulises Guerrero

Operations Coordinator

Ulises Guerrero Ulises is originally from Mexico, and joined the Uhuru Furniture operations team in December 2013. Ulises enjoys his position very much because he loves working with furniture, and also because of his passion for the mission of APEDF. In his free time, Ulises enjoys working around his house, mechanics, construction and listening to music.





Alfred "Ali" Hutley

Operations & Sales Coordinator

Alfred 'Ali' Hutley Ali is from Georgia and joined our team in August 2014. Ali likes working for Uhuru because he likes the people and is all for being a part of anything about Black people and people in general. Ali considers himself a jack-of-many-trades. In his spare time, Ali enjoys games, cooking and being with his wife, family & friends.








Tiffany Murphy

National APEDF Representative

Tiffany Murphy Tiffany is a native of Philadelphia, student, and member of the African People's Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) and the African People's Socialist Party (APSP) for over one year. For Tiffany, the mission of APEDF doesn't just span to service a small sector of a neighborhood, but it looks to tackle major issues that affect communities. Tiffany believes that APEDF responds by providing programming and resources that uplift and empower the African community where traditional assistance may fall short.




Joseph Franchi

Operations & Marketing

Joseph Franchi Joe has been dedicated to volunteering at Uhuru Furniture for over a decade. He was born and raised in Philadelphia, and has family living in Southwest Philly. Being a white man in Philly, Joe believes supporting the mission of the African People’s Education and Defense Fund is a way to take the correct stand and contribute to the struggle of African people for self-determination and the right to resources and economic development. Joe has a great talent for working in a collaborative way. In daily life, one of his hobbies is collecting early 80s music records.




Ameer Fearrington

Business Relations Developer & Donations Assistant

 

Ameer grew up in Delaware County, PA. He initially volunteered at Uhuru for the chance to help people while contributing to an organization with a positive mission. He also likes the fact that the store prevents used items from going to waste. He now works at Uhuru Furniture coordinating the donations with Janus and managing our relationships with local businesses. In his spare time, Ameer likes reading, drawing, and riding his bicycle.



Chía Cotansuca (Cota)

Promotions Coordinator

Cota was born in New Jersey but both of their parents are from Colombia. After graduating from high school in Florida, they lived in Boston for five years where they were in and out of Boston University studying photojournalism. During their time in Boston, they learned about the Uhuru Movement and the theory of African Internationalism from a member of the African People's Socialist Party and have been involved ever since. As soon as they moved to Philadelphia in 2017, they began volunteering for Uhuru Furniture and the African People's Education and Defense Fund. Now they work at Uhuru Furniture doing marketing and graphic design.


Rosie

Artist & NZO Painter

Rosie is from Oakland, California where she grew up knowing about black power and the Uhuru Movement. Her dad is from Guatemala and her mom is from New York. When she first moved to Philadelphia, she was in between jobs and looking for volunteer opportunities. She saw a post online about volunteering at Uhuru Furniture so she came in and donated her painting skills. Then she was offered a position to paint African designs as a part of the store's NZO line: African Styles at Home and Abroad. She thinks it's very liberating to work at Uhuru Furniture.

Tony

Operations Team


Albert

Truck Team Navigator

Albert is from North Philly and had a tough time growing up, but over the years it got better. He learned about Uhuru Furniture from his brother, Hassan. He loves his job and finds it to be fun. He also loves interacting with other people and helping out when he can. Overall, he likes to work and spend quality time.








Hassan

Truck Team Driver

Hassan was born and raised in North Philly. He used to box but stopped after he started going to Benjamin Franklin High School, although he still trains now and then. He used to work for a moving company called Big Brother Little Brother and volunteer at the Uhuru Flea Markets, which is how he got connected with Uhuru Furniture. He likes that the store is a black-owned economic development institution of the African People's Education and Defense Fund. He also likes that working at Uhuru Furniture keeps him in shape and updated about current events.


Jamal

Truck Team Driver & Sales Team

Jamal was born and raised in North Philly. He's soft-spoken, respectful, and charming. He has three beautiful children and considers himself to be a family man. He had driven by Uhuru Furniture many times but didn't take a closer look until his friend Bub told him more about it. Then he filled out an application and got hired on the spot! He loves the people who come through the store and thinks the staff is good. He's learned a lot since working here and has met a lot of nice people. He's always open to learning new things and down to help.







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