Nicole Lee (Courtesy of
Nicole Lee (Courtesy of
Nicole Lee (Courtesy of

by Margaret Summers
Special to the NNPA from The Washington Informer

TransAfrica President Nicole Lee announced Thursday she will step down after eight years in the position.

Lee is the first woman to lead the D.C.-based nonprofit, which has advocated for Africa and the African diaspora since 1977.

“Upon assuming my role, and with the board’s encouragement and stated support, we set out to build upon TransAfrica’s legacy as a voice for social justice, and create a body of work that was true to its Pan African and civil rights history,” Lee wrote in a letter to actor Danny Glover, chair of TransAfrica’s board of directors. “Today, TransAfrica stands as a renowned thought leader on issues relating to the African diaspora, and serves as ‘the voice’ of advocacy with regards to matters of social, political and economic justice for members of the diaspora.”

The Buffalo, N.Y., native, who was a human rights attorney before joining TransAfrica, is credited with revamping the organization’s communications infrastructure and enhancing its social media platforms to better communicate with international nongovernmental organizations (NGO).

Recently, she was instrumental in bringing Ugandan civil rights leader Frank Mugisha to the U.S. to meet with rights leaders concerning the African nation’s anti-gay policies.

Lee said the death of Nelson Mandela influenced her decision to resign. She coordinated the memorial tribute to the former South African president in December at the Washington Cathedral, which was attended by Vice President Joe Biden, actress Alfre Woodard and South African Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool.

Lee said she is proud of what TransAfrica accomplished during her tenure.

“Now I want the opportunity to work more closely with other international movements and organizations and work with communities here at home in understanding international affairs,” she said.

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