60's - 70's Student Activist
Influenced by the turbulence of the Sixties and Seventies, Nkechi Taifa described herself as a cultural and revolutionary nationalist.
She attended a primarily White high school in the early 1970's, becoming president of its Black Student Union. While in high school she sold Black Panther newspapers on the streets of Washington, D.C., attended the organization's political education classes; and adopted an African name. She organized a Saturday School for youth and coordinated Kwanzaa programs in the community.
While in college, Taifa immersed herself in the struggles of the day, working with the Southern African Support Committee, the Youth Organization for Black Unity, the February 1st Movement, and the Wilmington Ten Defense Committee. She worked with the Black Women's United Front, taking uplifting programs into the local prison.
She helped to organize National Black Elections for the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Africa, becoming the group's Minister of Justice. She coordinated the National Committee to Free the RNA-11, resulting in the release of a group of political prisoners from unjust incarceration.
80's - 90's Attorney Activist
As an attorney during the Eighties and Nineties, Taifa actively worked with the National Conference of Black Lawyers, dubbed the "legal arm of the Black Revolution."
She was co-counsel in the"Resistance Conspiracy Case"in which six people were charged with several acts, including the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Capitol building under an indictment "to influence, change and protest policies and practices of the U.S. government concerning various international and domestic matters through the use of violent and illegal means."
She served as co-counsel, along with controversial attorney Mark Lane, in several racial discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits, including Shepherd v. ABC News, 62 F.3rd 1469 (D.D.C. 1995) which resulted in an unprecedented default judgment.
Taifa served as coordinator and trainer of Legal Observers for the historic 1995 Million Man March. She was a founding member of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, helping to articulate the legal and political rationale for reparations for African Americans. She continued her work with various committees to free U.S. political prisoners.
2000's Community Activist
Nkechi Taifa eloquently delivered the Opening Statement for the prosecution teams in two Tribunals, the People's Inter national Tribunal for Justice for Mumia Abu Jamal (Philadelphia, PA, December 6, 1997); and the International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita(New Orleans, LA, September 5, 2007).
Nkechi Taifa has been involved in three staged arrests in pursuit of justice: outside the South African embassy in support of the release of Nelson Mandela from unjust imprisonment; in front of the congressional Longworth House of Representatives building in a demonstration in support of statehood for the District of Columbia; and in front of the White House demonstrating in support of democracy in Haiti.
During her introduction of Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) who was about to receive an award from the ACLU of the National Capital Area, Taifa stated, "my arrests of today are a far cry from the terror, dogs, fire hoses and nooses of yesterday. This is so because of men and women like John Lewis who risked their lives time after time on behalf of civil rights and civil liberties."