We sat down with Oshunbumi Fernandez – West for our LOCAL HISTORY MAKERS series for Black History Month, where we talk to people contributing today to make a better tomorrow!
We talk Odunde Festival, her inspirations, and what Black History Month means to her!
Learn More About Oshunbumi Fernandez – West
Celebration, Passion and Persistence….. are the words that come to mind when describing the life of Oshunbumi Fernandez, CEO of ODUNDE, Inc.
ODUNDE, Inc. is a world-renowned cultural organization whose mission is to serve the need for cultural enrichment in the African American community. The organization is known for its “internationally acclaimed event” – the ODUNDE festival which attracts up to 500,000 attendees, covers 14-city blocks, has over 100 arts & craft/ food vendors and has two stages of live entertainment. The festival is the largest African-American street festival in the country. The festival is known throughout the world as one of the original models for African-American festivals, hosting many internationally known African and Caribbean performers, dignitaries, folk artists and cultural leaders. The festival has a $25 million dollar economic impact on the City of Philadelphia and a $30 million dollar impact on the State of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Fernandez was named by The Philadelphia Tribune as one of the 10 People Under 40 to watch in 2011. She has been named to the Philadelphia Tribune as one of Philadelphia’s Most Influential Leaders from 2012 to the present. In February 2013, NAACP named her as an Influential Woman in Philadelphia. Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown named her 2013 Moxie Women- Next Generation Leader. She was awarded by the PABJ the Community Service in 2017.
In April 2013, she was a member of Governor Tom Corbett’s Trade Mission delegation to Brazil and Chile. Her education includes a BA in Biology from Temple University and a MBA from LaSalle University.
In 2013, she created KWANZAABRATION with music icon Kenny Gamble whose mission is to educate and celebrate the Kwanzaa holiday.
Her dedication to cultural awareness and expression has dominated her professional life. For more than a decade, she worked for the City of Philadelphia in the Department of Recreation which allowed her to make an impact on the lives of the children in her community. She was responsible for creating and implementing a modeling program for girls to instill self-esteem, self-awareness and self-discipline. She has been invited to lecture on her personal achievements and the accomplishments of ODUNDE by regional and national organizations.
In October 2011, she created ODUNDE365 whose mission is to have year round cultural programming. ODUNDE365 consists of 4 programs: African Dance & Drumming, Arts & Craft( Art Education) , I AM B.UM.I. ( Beautiful Unique Magnificent Individual- self esteem- self motivation classes for girls 5-18 years old) and MY STORY( Influential people tell their stories of success in their own words). ODUNDE365 is currently in over 10 schools and numerous recreation centers and culturally impacts the lives of over 2000 children.
She is the owner of BUMI PRODUCTIONS an event planning company whose clients’ list includes: PECO JAZZ, SUNOCO WELCOME AMERICA, LFGA & associates, UNIVERSAL companies and many more.
She is a member of the Point Grays Promise Neighborhood committee, Co-chair of the Mayor’s Commission of African & Caribbean Affairs- Arts & Culture Board, an Advisory Board member for the University of Pennsylvania Museum – Imagine Africa Exhibit and was a member of Mayor John Street’s Transitional Team for Arts and Culture. She is married with three children.