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Africare (Washington, DC)

Mourning Visionary Africare Leader C Payne Lucas: 'A Giant Tree'

C. Payne Lucas, co-founder and longtime CEO of Africare and leading voice on U.S. Africa relations for more than four decades, died September 15, one day after his 85th birthday. A native of North Carolina and an Air Force veteran, Lucas served as Peace Corps country director for Niger and then Africa director before leaving to create the first major African American-led NGO, which is focused on promoting development across Africa.

Africare has established a 'wall of remembrance' where tributes to his legacy are being posted.

The funeral service was held on September 26, 2018 at the National Presbyterian Church.


C. Payen Lucas (r) and his wife, Freddie Lucas, receiving an award from UNDP in 2009.



C. Payne Lucas with Dikembe Mutombo, a humanitarian activist who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and played 18 seasons in the NBA.

C. Payne Lucas joined the Peace Corps when it was launched in 1961.


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