Sharon Cynthia Ellawesia Leonard Goodman

Sunrise 30 April 1953-Sunset 30 January 2005, was the founder and producer of The Annual Locks Conference, a poet, publisher, and entrepreneur. Graduating from Temple University with a BA in journalism, Sister Sharon worked several years as a reporter and managed her own company. The Niambi Doll Collection, which designed, manufactured, and distributed,  one-of-a-kind, African-centered dolls. She was the author of seven books of poetry and the CEO of In The Tradition Press.

Sharon planned her celebration of life, and her family and friends followed her plan to the letter. The celebration held on Saturday, February 12, 2005, at the Harambee Institute Charter School in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was a beautiful remembrance of Sharon's life and the many people she touched. Her celebration of life was rhythmic, full of drumming, dancing, love, good vibrations, an exceptional and creative slide presentation, delicious food in a room overflowing with family, friends and co-workers.

The Kuumba Family will keep its promise to continue the tradition of the Locks Conference. With your loyal support we will go on to build more beautiful memories. ​

Naa Kwateokor Gua I (MaMa Akosua Ali-Sabree )

joined the Kuumba Sisters in 1998, after having been a supporter, advertiser and presenter since the inception of the conference. She functioned as the operations manager for the Locks Conference for many years. Now she is the innovative program director, dedicated to continuing the glorious tradition of the Annual International Locks Conference, and considers it an honor, duty, and pleasure to continue the exceptional programming offered at the Locks Conference.  

In addition to being the executive director of the Amadi Wellness Connection and founder of the Amadi Universal Light Mission (AULM), Dr. Ali-Sabree, often referred to as MaMa General Akosua, has been a  a community organizer since 1966 and a wholistic health and wellness practitioner since 1968.  Her areas of proficiency are wholistic hypnotherapy,  spiritual counseling, soulful meditation, Neuro-linguistic psychotherapy, life consciousnesses and imagination counsellor, network marketing training, intuitive writing, and organizational strategy.  She revels in her capacities as wife, mother, active grandmother, great grandmother, CEO, mentor, professional registered nurse, stress management trainer, Aboriginal Indigenous Naturopathy, and an urban generalist. In 2014 she was honored and enstooled as a Queen Mother in the tradition of Ga people of Ghana.

She is also a graduate of Lincoln University with a Master of Human Services/Counselling, ordained minister with a doctorate in divinity and  Aboriginal Indigenous naturopathy.  Dr.  Ali-Sabree is also the co-founder of Ujima Press Real Communication {publishing company}.  She co-edited the commemorative publication celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Annual International Locks Conference entitled Hair PieceZ: The Anthology, is a published author. her most recent book is .Emancipating Your Spirit: A Conscious Guidebook to Affirmations,  Meditation, Liberty & Other Soulful Reflections. MaMa Akosua is also an Internet radio talk show host: “Health Is A Family Affair” on the Harambee Radio Network   -,,


Sakinah Ali-Sabree, 

life skills counselor, astute conference and workshop facilitator, a radio show host and producer, a very talented writer, is an honors graduate of Lincoln University and Hampton University. With a bachelor of arts in psychology and a master of arts in counselling, she is certified as a guidance counselor and behavior therapist. As a published author her books include We Surrender: A Collection of Inspirational Poems and Lyrical Verses and contributions to Hair PieceZ: The Anthology. 

In addition, Sakinah Ali-Sabree is the executive director of Sankofa Consulting Group {SCG}. She facilitates various groups for young people in areas such as anger management, grief, and communications, and she serves as the astute Operations Manager and the energetic coordinator of Know Thy Self Youth Day for the Annual International Locks Conference: Natural Hair, Wholistic Health & Beauty Expo.      Sakinah is also co-owner of http://www.SweetSpot which can be reached       267-259-8400  

Front left to right

Otu Kwaku, MAT, is an educator, director and founder of Hippos, Books &  Things,  and a seasoned poet from West Virginia who  believes that optimum health and wellness--spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical--are the ground works of effective learning, self-healing, and personal happiness. Since 2000 he has graciously joined the Kuumba Family to help organize the Locks Conference. He is also co-founder of Ujima Press Real Communication  He is also a proud husband, father, grandfather and greatgrandfather.

Salim Ali, is an author, graphic artist, lecturer, and founder and director of the Strawberry Mansion Tennis Association,  Ali Research Institute and Human Development, and The Money He is also a long time conference participant and workshop presenter who is now one of the creative members of the outreach and mobilization team.  For more information check out his website at  /


Brendah Eady - a loyal volunteer and often requested presenter who is also a hair healer, founder of Brendah's Braids, mentor artist, sculptress, writer, author, founder and CEO of Be Un-Cluttered

Sakinah Ali.Sabree

Naa Kwateokor (MaMa Akosua Ali.Sabree)

Tamika Coleman-Ali is mother to Jamir, daughter, and sister friend to many. She is a devoted member of the Kuumba Family serving as the volunteer  co-coordinator. Sista Meek (as she is lovingly called) is involved in various community based organizations including National Kidney Foundation, Amadi Wellness Connection, and  Friends of  Impeccable Taste Flower & Gift Shop. Sista Meek is also the executive director of her own event planning business: Memorable Events.

 Queen Samiyah Mu-El is co-owner of Nubian Essence, a home-based business that sells culturally inspired jewelry and clothing. For several years she has operated a vending stand on the campus of Temple University at 13th & Montgomery. Queen Samiyah has traveled extensively throughout the country, selling her wares of culturalism to inspire and uplift fallen humanity. She is the astute vending coordinator for the Annual International Locks Conference. 


Valarie Gant is an entrepreneur, teacher, trainer, computer analyst, process improvement specialist, wife and a mother.  Valarie has been a volunteer for the Locks Conference for many years and joined the Kuumba family for as volunteer co-Coordinator last year.  In 2005 she formed a partnership to start SaVal, the parent company of Sweet Spot Dessertz specializing in baked goods and smoothies.  Valarie’s latest project deals with facilitating group sessions educating young people on the pitfalls of credit as well as making the most of all aspects of the college experience.  She is a graduate of Lincoln University and Drexel University and a energetic entrepreneur.   

Monzella"  "Mama Dee"   Allen - is the founder and executive director of Akoma Ntosoa: United Hearts Cultural Academy –  After being a frequently requested facilitator at the Annual International Locks Conference: Natural Hair, Wholistic Health & Beauty Expo, Mama Dee joined the Kuumba family as a  volunteer coordinator. Her background also includes being a nationally celebrated member of the Arthur Hall Dance Ensemble, a competent cultural educator, wholistic massage therapist, Yoruba priestess, community organizer, and author. In addition to certification as an African dance instructor and being a graduate  student of  Lincoln University, with a Master of Human Services Degree, Monzella D. Allen’s  training and certifications include Urban Generalist, Tui Na (Chinese massage) practitioner,  wellness ambassador, and guided fasting trainer.  In 2008,  Ms. Allen, affectionately called “Mama Dee” Joined the Amadi Wellness Connection(AWC) and is accepting appointments for wellness services: massage, reflexology and energy balancing. Mama Dee is also the founder of Akoma Ntosoa: United Hearts Cultural Academy and often provides advice of cultural competent curriculum and classroom management.  She  also  the originator of  "Let'sTalk Teen Healing circle"  {a series of wellness and wholistic awareness workshop for young girls). Mama Dee is also a co-host of the "Health is A Family Affair" radio talk show on  and the author of Songs of Empowerment for the Watoto. 

Monzella D. Allen is the proud mother of five children and thirteen grandchildren.


Camera shy members of Kuumba family

Security Coordinators

Hijr K. Muhammad Sabree    Asa Z. Muhammad Sabree  


M. Christine Wiggins,  Matinah Muhammad

Two original members of  the Kuumba sisters:


Zakiyyah Ali the founder and owner of Ali's Food, Agr-Business, Consultation, and Environmental Services (FACES)  is well known throughout the nation and respected as a live food master chef, garden expert, culinary and nutrition educator, and talented entrepreneur who loves to make paper and care for her grandchildren. Sister Zakiyyah is frequently called upon to present cooking and food preparation lectures and classes. She has travelled and prepared food all over the world and has served many noted performers, writers, and dignitaries. Sister Zakiyyah is a graduate of the famed Restaurant School and has  a Master of Human Services degree from Lincoln University and has been a dedicated instructor at Temple University's Pan American Community Education Program(PACEP) for over a decade. Zakiyyah Ali continues to work with the Locks Conference as a much sought after food vendor, lively presenter, and loyal promoter. 

Yvette Smalls -- (2 years)

 Sunrise-March 9, 1959 -  Sunset-April 16, 2012

Yvette “Kinyozi” Smalls, will long be remembered for her fiery spirit and brilliant artistry as a master braider,  hair sculptor, and a widely celebrated creative cultural folk artist. Active in the care of natural hair since the 1970s, Yvette was the driving force for several natural hair and braiding initiatives: such as the National Braiders Association and the Philadelphia "Braid it Don't Burn it" parade. In 1998, Yvette Smalls completed a documentary "Hair Stories", which was broadcast on WYBE-TV and screened in festivals internationally and presented regularly at the  Annual International Locks Conference.  A proud mother of one son, Amiri Russam Nichols "Vette" as her friends called her was the founder and owner of Positive Hair Designs (PHD), a dedicated friend, and mentor to many young brothers and sisters.

Zakiyyah Ali ( 7 years)

September 1953

To reach the Kuumba Family:


Mail: 7507 North 21 Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19138



  •  General Information /vending /presentations /sponsorship/advertising: MaMa Akosua Ali-Sabree 215-438-8189


  •  General Information / Fashion Show / Hair Show & Competition Sakinah Ali-Sabree: 267-259-8400


  •  On-site International Marketplace/Vending Queen Samiyah Mu-El: 215-888-6509 (after 8 PM)   or 215-232-9527


  •  To Volunteer contact

  •      Monzella "Mama Dee" Allen 609-638-1460 / Tamika Coleman-Ali 267-505-2736 / Valarie Curtis 215-813-7475

Our Mailing Address

6801 North 16th street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19126

Contact Us

TEL: 215-438-8189 / 800 890 5159


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© 2016 by Kuumba Family Institute, Inc.