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 & 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 & 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 grass roots 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 5 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 & 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 Coordinator & Sales

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.

Catherine "Katt" Mendel

Internet Marketing Coordinator

Catherine 'Katt' Mendel Katt has lived in Philadelphia since she was 10, and joined the Uhuru team in January of 2015. She has always wanted to do something about the injustices perpetrated against the black community, and realized that the APEDF was the way to do it. Because of their commitment to African self-determination, Katt realized that this was the organization where she could truly make a difference in impacting the disparities in the African community both locally and nation-wide. She sees APEDF and African Internationalism as the only ways to truly win the equality that is so desperately needed. In her free time, Katt likes to read, write, play video games, and relax with her friends and loved ones.

Tiffany Murphy

National APEDF Representative

Tiffany Murphy Tiffany is a native of Philadelphia PA, and student & member of the African People's Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) & 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 80’s music records.

Ameer Fearrington

Donations Intern


Ameer grew up in Delaware County, PA. He enjoys volunteering at Uhuru for the chance to help people while contributing to an organization with a positive mission, and also likes the fact that the store prevents used items from going to waste. In his spare time, Ameer likes reading, drawing, and riding his bicycle.

Tyrone “Toy” Long

Sales & Operations

Started at Uhuru in April 2016. An entrepreneur who has had businesses all over Philadelphia. Toy is a new valued member of our sales & operations teams. As an African man, he believes strongly in the mission of APEDF and is happy to finally be a part of a cause that supports him & his people worldwide.

Jesus Santos


Started working for Uhuru in 2015, he was away for a few months and we’re happy to have him back! Jesus grew up and has always lived in North Philadelphia. The oldest of 6 children, he now has a wife from whom he has two stepsons & one young daughter born 6/16/12. He believes that APEDF is a wonderful organization, and that working for APEDF allows him to be a part of giving back to the community & helping others in need.

Derrick “Bub” Myers


Bub joined the Uhuru team in March 2016. Father of 2 and grandfather of 4, he is a Philadelphia native with an Associate’s Degree from Florida State University. Bub loves APEDF and our mission for giving back to the african people. He loves the family of Uhuru and hopes to retire from here!

Harris Daniels

Marketing Team Volunteer

Harris Daniels Harris has been volunteering with Uhuru Furniture and Uhuru Flea Markets for over 7 years. He was drawn to APEDF's programs because they directly address and strive to overturn the disparities facing the African community in health, economic development and education. The education issue is particularly important to Harris because he is a teacher and sees the effects of these disparities on children in West Philadelphia every day, and wants to take part in transforming those conditions. In his free time Harris enjoys teaching, learning, vegetarian cooking & eating, playing the drums, seeing movies & live music, and traveling.

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