Our Mission

Mission: To connect Afrikan American and Afro Latino young people to the global community and especially the world-wide Afrikan Diaspora, and those on the Afrikan continent, where they together can serve, connect, and develop life-long life-changing relationships of mutual love, encouragement, and investment.

 

Vision: Spiritually enlivened young adults will connect, relate, and work across geographical, historical, and cultural divides to take leadership roles in addressing core issues related to global equality, justice, and peace.

THe NAme

 

Watu Moja is a Swahili phrase meaning “One People.” The name captures the aim of connecting African American and Afro Latino youths to the people and cultures of the global Afrikan community, found both within the Afrikan continent and throughout the worldwide Afrikan Diaspora. Together, through conversations, shared experiences, and serving together, they will discover their commonness and will form relationships of mutual love, encouragement, and investment. It is the aim of Watu Moja to spiritually enliven young people and to help them discover the true message and meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As young people learn, connect, serve, and reflect, our hope is that they will develop a Christian worldview that considers the fullness of God’s creative expression and the mission of Kingdom building throughout the global community.

Our team

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Ayinde Merrill

Watu Moja President

Ayinde serves as the President of Watu Moja. As a graduate from Rutgers Camden with a degree in Africana Studies he loves studying different schools of Black thought. Dedicated to the empowerment of Black and Brown people, Ayinde seeks to create a safe space devoted to the enlightenment and creative expression of his community. He enjoys teaching “Social Justice and Activism Through the Arts” for Rutgers’ Future Scholars. As an anime and music enthusiast, his must-watch and must-listen lists are ever growing.

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Camille Wilson

Watu Moja Secretary 

As a Sociology and Journalism Grad, Camille applies her love of writing and cultural exchange to managing and editing Watu Moja’s blog. When she’s not writing or doing work for Watu Moja, you can usually find her drawing, studying Spanish, or listening to 90’s R&B music.

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amadi Merrill

Watu Moja Treasurer

A Camden city native Amadi currently serves as the treasurer of Watu Moja. A graduate from Chestnut Hill College with a degree in Psychology, she has passion to promote mental health awareness within the black and brown community. A lover a music she spends her weekends teaching piano lessons at the Jubilee Music Enrichment program. With A host of hobbies Amadi enjoys keeping up on the latest makeup trends and has an endless reading list.

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reet starwind

Watu Moja Creative Director

Graduate of Rutgers University - Camden in the field of Digital Media & Society, Reet serves as Watu Moja's Creative Director. An art lover of all forms, from poetry to graphic design, Reet prides himself on endlessly innovating the organization's identity & iconography. Reet views life itself as a grand poetic experience, candidly deconstructing the human condition through imagery, alliteration, & rhyme.

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REv. Timothy Merrill 

Watu Moja Executive Director

Rev. Tim Merrill is a Fellow at the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative. He has served the young people of his native City, Camden, New Jersey, for over 40 years. In his work there, he has served as an education advocate, a youth and young adult leadership development specialist, counsellor, mentor, faith leader, and has worked with members of the city’s criminal youth underworld to develop and encourage avenues for them to leave the world of criminality and pursue productive lifestyles. 

In 2014 Tim initiated a dialogue with young adults in his church centered on establishing better ties between local African American and Afro-Latino young people and the young people living throughout the global African Community. This dialogue was the genesis of Watu Moja. Tim continues to shepherd this effort and also seeks to scale and replicate it in cities throughout the nation and in the nations that comprise the global community of people of African descent.   of his church to create Watu Moja, a global youth service organization designed to foster better connections between local African American and Afro-Latino young adults and the global African community.

Rev Merrill convenes Refuge for Our Soul; Reading the Bible While Black, a community-based dialogue focused on a unique understanding of the Christian faith as seen through the lens of the Black experience. He also serves as the Social Justice Minister at the Asbury Community Church in Woodlynne, NJ. 

Tim continues to live in his hometown, Camden, where he and Renata, his wife of 31 years, have raised their three children Jordan, Ayinde, and Amadi.