About Our Founder
Mfalme Sikivu is the Founder and Executive Minister of UFD. When he was 17 years old he was incarcerated for committing a robbery, two attempted robberies, and related minor offenses. Although he didn't hurt, harm, or injury anyone and was a first time felony offender, he was sentenced to 35 to 70 years by a conservative white judge. Mfalme makes no excuses for what he did. He was a kid who made a big mistake for which he accepts responsibility. But because he was Black, poor, and couldn't afford better legal representation, he was made an example of, sentenced to more time than some get for murder, manslaughter, rape, and child molestation.
During his 20 years of incarceration, Mfalme became conscious after studying more about Black history. He became ashamed of his incarceration. So many Black people gave their lives and suffered so much to win for Us Our freedom and Our rights, yet he was in prison for less than $5,000. He vowed to change and better himself. So he earned several certificates and earn a college degree. He became a student minister and a peer educator. He started inmate organizations and sat on the executive board of others. He has taught and mentored younger prisoners as well.
In 2008, Mfalme founded UFD initially as an alternative to gangs. He was tired of seeing young prisoners get caught up in the self-destruction of gang life. He thought by offering a positive alternative the youth will gravitate to UFD. He was successful but eventually saw a larger purpose for UFD after studying Amos Wilson's book, Blueprint For Black Power, and Chancellor Williams' book, The Destruction Of Black Civilization. Both books talk about the need to build a mass organization for a Black empowerment. Wilson gives a more in-depth treatment on the subject of building Black Power and creating Black Wealth.
Mfalme couldn't understand why nobody was trying to execute the plan Wilson and Williams proposed or, at least, formulate and execute a similar plan. He realized such a plan was needed if Black people ever truly wanted to achieve full equality in America. Because power only respects power. So long as Black people are in a weak power position, We will forever be victims of racism. So Mfalme undertook the task of formulating a plan to build a national grassroots movement on a fraternal bases for Black socio-economic empowerment. He wrote our Body 2 Soul and restructured UFD to execute his plan, but still having the youth as a central part of that plan.
Mfalme realized he was daring the impossible. Who will listen to a jailbird? There are Black leaders in a much more credible position than him. They're established and he's not. But that's precisely what gives Mfalme an advantage. Personally he has nothing to lose. He suffered the indignity of incarceration; he grew up poor in a dysfunctional family; and he has to struggle as a formerly incarcerated person who is discriminated against due to his criminal record, so he understands the Black struggle and the struggle of poverty on an intimate level that gives him a clarity of mind. And that clearly of mind tells him that Black people don't need no heroes. We don't need no dynamic personalities or rich folk to lead the way for Us. What we need is Ourselves and each other. UFD isn't Mfalme's organization. It belongs to Us, the people. We are UFD!