The CEO, Sonya A. Kittles had a vision to empower the community through education and awareness of Afrikan (both as a continent and as a people) and Afrikan American Heritage in Rochester, NY and the surrounding areas. On January 10, 2006, Sonya founded what is now the Pan Afrikan Festival (formerly Afrikan American Festival).
The festival has since grown to an attendance of approximately 6,000 people. Sonya has also been a major (and in past years) sole contributor to the Festival. As a result of her continued hard work, dedication and commitment to the community, she received the John W. Thompson Community Service Award presented by Eureka Lodge #36 on November 6, 2010.