United African Organization

UAO aims to serve as the African Community Resource Clearinghouse wherein constituents gather, access information, share experiences, exchange views, and coordinate organizational capacity development. UAO's hub of resources on this website is intended to assist community members in navigating services, programs and resources that are available to help them cope better in the United States.

IYJL presents: National Coming Out of the Shadows Month

March 8, 2013SarahBlog

The Immigrant Youth Justice League will be hosting a rally on Sunday, March 10, 2013 the Federal Plaza in Chicago.

National Coming Out of the Shadows started in Chicago, Illinois on March 10th, 2010 when undocumented youth declared to be “undocumented and unafraid” at Federal Plaza, facing the immigration and federal office building. Around the country, other undocumented youth did the same, some times escalating to civil disobedience in support of immigrant rights.

This year, IYJL continues this work, this time focusing on those being criminalized by the federal government and immigration enforcement: people in deportation proceedings, people in detention, those who do not qualify for deferred action, and those with past interactions with the law.


11:00AM Marchers gather at Union Park
12:00PM March step-off, 45 min expected walking time
12:30PM Pre-Rally music and performances begin at Federal Plaza
12:50PM Welcoming of the marchers
1:00PM National Coming Out of the Shadows rally begins at Federal Plaza, 30 min duration

For more information about Immigrant Youth Justice League, or National Coming Out of the Shadows, visit their website by clicking here!

What Can Medicaid do for YOU?

March 6, 2013SarahBlog

Do you qualify for Medicaid? New rules starting in 2014

Image from heartland.org

The Illinois Senate approved Medicaid Expansion last week. As part of the Affordable Care Act, States have the option to expand Medicaid coverage for individuals that are currently ineligible. Under current Medicaid requirements, adults who do not meet a specific categorical requirement (such as being older than age 65, have certain disabilities or is a parent of a child under 18) have never been eligible for any public health care coverage under Medicaid, even if they are very low income.  For Illinois, this means approximately 600,000 people would be eligible starting in 2014 because they are below 138% of the Federal Poverty Limit. You or someone you know might qualify. Below are key components and expected benefits of Medicaid Expansion in Illinois.


Key components of Senate Bill 26:

  • All adults with incomes at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit ($15,415 for an individual) will be able to enroll in Medicaid starting January 1, 2014. Currently, adults are eligible for Medicaid only if they have disabilities or care for dependent children.
  • The federal government will reimburse Illinois for 100 percent of the costs of covering these newly eligible enrollees through 2017.
  • The reimbursement rate will decrease gradually after 2017 but stay at 90 percent after 2020.
  • If the federal government fails to reimburse the state at 90 percent or above, the newly eligible clients will become ineligible; Illinois will not be stuck with the bill.


Expected benefits include:

  • Access to routine, coordinated care for 342,000 low-income adults
  • Fewer unnecessary and uncompensated emergency room visits
  • An influx of $1.1 billion in federal dollars in the first year and more than $12 billion in federal funds in the first eight years of the expansion
  • Job creation in the health care sector
  • $105 million in annual savings to the state as federal funds replace state expenditures on mental health, HIV/AIDS drugs and other areas of spending
  • A reduction in the burden on hospitals and local government currently caring for the uninsured
  • Better preventive care and mental health care for a vulnerable segment of the population[1]

[1] State Senator Van Pelt on the Illinois Senate vote to expand Medicaid, last modified February 23, 2013, http://senatorvanpelt.com/index.php/news/81-state-senator-van-pelt-on-the-illinois-senate-vote-to-expand-medicaid.

UAO and Allies Rally in Springfield!

March 5, 2013AdminBlog, Photo Reel

On February 27, 2013, UAO Executive Staff and allies lobbied Illinois legislators in Springfield to ensure that immigrant services such as Citizenship workshops and healthcare awareness are still funded in the next fiscal year.

Click here to see more photos!

If you want to get involved with our efforts, contact your representatives today to insure immigrant services are still funded in Illinois by visiting Who Is My Representative, today!


Join Delta Sigma Theta in their Empowerment Fair 2013: “Road to Financial Freedom”

February 14, 2013SarahBlog

The Empowerment Fair 2013: “Road to Financial Freedom” presented by Delta Sigma Theta features workshops on saving money, debt reduction, estate planning. This event also gives you the opportunity to open a savings account by a local bank! Get started on your road to financial freedom!

 Saturday, February 16, 2013

Time: 9:00am- 12:00pm

d’Estee, INC.

4525 S. King Drive, Chicago, Il 60653 

Be sure to also stick around for their Job and Career Fair from 1:00-4:00pm! The Job and Career Fair will include workshops on interviewing skills, resume writing, and career building! 

Get Advise from experts on job searching and the power of social media for job searching! Be sure to bring your resume for review!

Umu Igbo Alliance presents: Chat, Choose, Date.

February 14, 2013SarahBlog

C.C.D offers a unique approach to the usual “Meet and Greet” with the purpose of encouraging people to meet, mingle, and share while forming new connections . Think of this as an amped up version of your typical happy hour or get together. C.C.D offers an interactive, safe, no pressure way to network, make new friends, meet your match… or just have a great time. The format offers ice breakers/speed mingling/ date auction/bowling and many more. Come for the fun; stay for the laughter, great conversation, new faces and intriguing discussions!

Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013

Location: IIT, 10 West 35th Street, Chicago, Il 60616


6:30p – 6:45p- arrival/cocktail/Silent date auction previews
7:00p – Silent date auction bidding opens (bidding continuous till 9pm)
7:00p – 7:45p Speed mingling/Making your Acquaintance commences
7:45p – 10:00p Dialogue Begins/Dating auction closes
10:00p -Silent Date Auction results discreetly announced and closing remarks



  • Top 5 Dating/Relationship Red Flags For Men and Women, how does one address and understand them
  • Top 5 Dating/Relationship Green Lights for men and women
  • Virgin vs Experienced (Does it matter?)
  • Dating vs FWB (Friends with benefits)…Is there really a difference?
  • Secrets vs Tell all (Do you want to know everything about his/her past, including with who/where/when…if so Why?
  • How best should one define “submission” keeping in mind of one’s African upbringing intersected with one’s American assimilation?
  • What differentiates a girl as wifey material vs friends with benefits (What qualities are in one vs the other…can a friends with benefit become wifey?)
  • What’s the most likely reason a man would commit (Age, Status or the Right woman)
  • Social Media dating etiquette…is there such a thing? How does that translate culturally with an African background/tradtition?

This event is FREE and OPEN to All
The SILENT dating Auction is a 21+ EVENT
Are you interested in being a bachelor or bachelorette in our charity SILENT Dating Auction (a fresh twist on the usual dating auction). Here is your chance to win a free bowling date, meet new people all while giving back to the community and helping out a good cause.

• Send an email with the subject, “I’m Interested” to chikachima@gmail.com
•All submissions must be received by February 15th 11:59pm

FREE Reading Classes at JARC!

February 12, 2013SarahBlog

The Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC) will be offering a 12 week reading course every Monday and Wednesday starting Monday, February 25th!

These classes are for adult readers at the intermediate level (4th-8th grade) and is designed specifically to help participants hone word recognition and pronunciation skills, read more fluidly, develop an academic vocabulary, and apply reading comprehension strategies to a variety of texts.

You can enroll by contacting Carolyn Markel at 773-728-9769 ext. 12

or via email: carolynm@jane-addams.org, today!


Illinois Immigration Integration Policy Summit this Saturday! (2/9/13)

February 7, 2013SarahBlog
Are you interested in immigration policy? Join us at the Immigrant Integration Policy Summit hosted by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Doors Open at 8am 

Malcolm X College

1900 W. Van Buren, Chicago, IL

 The summit will also include workshops and trainings on deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), immigrant rights, higher education, parental engagement in early childhood education, health care access and other important facets of immigrant integration.



9:00am-10:30am: Diverse Workshops and Panels

10:45am-11:45am: Achieving Comprehensive Immigration Reform

12:00pm-1:00pm: Closing Session with members, allies and elected officials.

BREAKOUT WORKSHOPS (Click on tabs to get full description!)

Apply for Citizenship!
This workshop will be held in the Cafeteria, floor 2.

You and your family can apply to become U.S. citizens!

If you have been a Legal Permanent Resident (Green card Holder) for at least 5 years, (or) 3 years and you are married to a U.S. Citizen, then you are eligible to apply to become a U.S. Citizen.

At  workshop applicants will receive:

-Free assistance to complete the application for naturalization
-Free legal consultation with an immigration attorney
-Free information on how to apply for application fee waiver
-Free study materials to prepare for the test and interview
-To fill out the citizenship form, please bring the following documents:

Money Order/Cashier’s Check for $680.00 payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security

To fill out the citizenship form, please bring the following documents:

  1.   Have your Green Card, Social Security Card, State ID or Driver’s License
  2.   List of places you have traveled to since you received your residency (Include month, day, year of travel)
  3.   List of where you have lived, worked and/ or studied for the past 5 years
  4.   Information about your spouse including: name, date of birth, social security number,
  5.   Green Card number and/or date and place your spouse became a citizen (if applicable)
  6.    Information about your children including address, name, date of birth & greencard number (if applicable)
  7.    If you are married, have your date of marriage available
  8.    Information about previous marriages for both you and your spouse (if applicable):
  9.    Date of prior marriage, date the marriage ended and reason the marriage ended.
  10.    If applicable, information about any arrests: reason for the arrest, date, place and disposition
  11.    For men only: Selective Service number and date of registration, call (847) 688-6888 if you don’t know
  12.    Money Order/Cashier’s Check for $680.00 payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security

You may qualify to apply for citizenship at no cost if:

Your family receives public benefits (Link, Medicaid, SSI, TANF)
Your income is equal to or less than that listed in the table.
Household Size              
Yearly Income
1                  -           $ 16,755
2                  –           $ 22,695
3                  -           $ 28,635
4                  –           $ 34,575
5                  -           $ 40,515
6                  –           $ 46,455
7                  –           $ 52,395
8                  -           $ 58,335
To determine if you are eligible, please bring:
The most recent federal income tax returns
Unemployment checks
Letter from the Department of Human Services (DHS) stating the date when you started receiving Food Stamps (LINK card), Medical and TANF benefits.

DACAmented Youth & Allies: Take Action!
Cultural Center, 1st Floor

Do you want to learn about next steps after you’ve been “DACAmented”? Do you want to join the fight for Comprehensive Immigration Reform from your school, college, or community?

Deferred Action youth and allies will learn ways and strategies to get involved in local campaigns like the fight for youth employment in IL and the national fight for immigration reform! Meet dozens of other youth and allies who will fight for the rights of our community in 2013! Youth from Albany Park Neighborhood Council and ICIRR youth leaders will lead conversations on concrete steps we can take to win victories for our communities!

What Every Family Needs to Know – English
Lecture Hall 2205, 2nd Floor

Know Your Rights, Family Unity Waivers, and Temporary Visitors Drivers Licenses

Do you know your rights with the police and with immigration?  Do you know what the family unity waiver is, and if your family qualifies?  Do you know what you need to do NOW in order to apply for your Temporary Visitors Drivers License in November?  Come to this workshop to find out the answers to these questions and more. This workshop will provide important information to help KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER. 

*Immigration attorneys will be present to help answer questions, but individual legal consultation will NOT be provided in this session.

Lo que cada familia necesita saber sobre – Español
Teatro/Theatre, 1st Floor

Entender sus derechos, Perdón para la unidad familiar, y las nuevas licencias de conducir en Illinois

¿Conoce usted sus derechos, con la policía y con inmigración? ¿Sabe lo que es el perdón para la unidad familiar, y si su familia califica? ¿Sabe los pasos que tiene que tomar AHORA para solicitar su licencia de conducir (TVDL por sus siglas en ingles) en NOVIEMBRE? Venga a este taller para conocer las respuestas a estas preguntas y más. Este taller proporcionará información importante para ayudar a mantener la familia unida.
* Abogados de inmigración estarán disponibles para ayudar a responder preguntas, pero consultas legales individuales NO serán proporcionadas en este taller.

Healthy Communities, Healthy Families
Room 3115, 3rd Floor

Understanding existing health care services and upcoming changes helps maintain healthy communities and healthy families. The new health care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will have profound effects on how immigrant families access health care. The ACA is designed to protect consumers and lower the cost of insurance and out-of-pocket medical expenses so that more people can have access to insurance. Some immigrants will benefit significantly while others will be largely left out of coverage.


This workshop will provide an overview of ACA and what should be expected in 2014. How will seniors be impacted? What other healthcare resources are currently available to our communities? What is County Care and how does it benefit those living in Cook County?

Parent Mentor Program and Early Childhood Education 101
Room 2215, 2nd Floor

The Parent Mentor Program is engaging immigrant parents and families as leaders in 55 schools around the State of Illinois. This workshop will provide participants with more information about Parent Mentor Program basics, the history and philosophy of the program, and testimonies from current Parent Mentors. This group will join with the Existing Parent Mentor Partner Session for the second half of the training. This workshop is geared towards those not currently involved in the Parent Mentor Program who would like to learn what all the buzz is about!

Parent Mentor Program and Early Childhood Education – Session for Existing Partners
Room 2614, 2nd Floor

The Parent Mentor Program expanded to a total of 13 ICIRR member organizations this Spring. This workshop is designed as a reflection and strategy session for partners and key stakeholders already involved in the Parent Mentor Program. This group will join with the Parent Mentor 101 group for the second half of the training.

College Bound – Pathways for All Immigrants
Room 2616, 2nd Floor

Hear from experts in education about Opening Doors for DREAMers, the High School to College Pathway, and the Adult Education (ESL & GED) to College/Career pathway.

Tanya Cabrera, IL DREAM Fund Commissioner / IIT Vice Provost
Elissa Lopez, City Colleges of Chicago Recruiter
Sameer Gadkaree, City Colleges of Chicago Associate Vice Chancellor of Adult Education
Maureen Fitzpatrick, City Colleges of Chicago Community Relations Liaison

Welcoming Cities: Setting the Stage for Local and Municipal Leadership in Immigrant Integration
Room 0308, Basement

Today’s Illinois cities are at the hub of an increasingly growing immigrant population that makes up 13.5% of our state’s population. As the level of government closest to the people, municipalities are well positioned to respond to our communities’ needs. Around the country, cities in partnership with local community organizations are developing policies and practices that accelerate the settlement and integration of immigrants, and engage local residents in building safe, healthy and prosperous communities.

In this workshop we will discuss immigrant integration with a focus on the municipal level, share best practices for creating more welcoming cities in Illinois and throughout the country and engage key stakeholders to build momentum for expanding welcoming cities throughout Illinois.


  • -Maria Elena Jonas, Executive Director of the Hispanic American Community Education and Services, Waukegan
  • -Adolfo Hernandez, Director of the Office of New Americans, City of Chicago
  • -       James Bennett, Midwest Regional Director, Lambda Legal, Chicago


Rachel Brooks, Uniting America Fellow, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Wheaton

Building Coalitions to Fight Mass Incarceration
Lecture Hall 2235, 2nd Floor

Join us for a panel discussion on effective coalition-building that responds to the criminalizaton of the immigrant and African American communities. The Corrections Corporation of America, which runs for-profit jails and detention centers across the country that incarcerate and detain many immigrants and African Americans, is trying to come to Illinois. CCA failed to build a detention center in Crete, IL due to community mobilization and effective advocacy efforts, but they now plan to build in Joliet, IL instead. How do we forge effective coalitions to respond to problems that affect all of our communities?

Commission Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Cook County Board of Commissioners
Elena Quintana, Executive Director, Institute on Public Safety & Social Justice at the Adler School of Professional Psychology

Protecting Your Electoral Power
Room 3116, 3rd Floor

The Presidential Election may be behind us, but municipal elections are quickly approaching!

The immigrant vote continues to show its strength in local and national politics, but how do you know that every voter’s rights is being observed on Election Day? Get to know the common issues facing voters at the polls from voter intimidation to language access. Also learn how communities can use local voting power to keep inhumane immigration practices like detention facilities out of our communities!

Attendees will get trained in poll monitoring so you can ensure that our community’s voice is heard.

Addressing Domestic Violence and Mental Health in Our Communities
Room 2625, 2nd Floor

Immigrant women may face a difficult time escaping abuse due to their immigration status. They often feel trapped in abusive relationships because of immigration laws, language barriers, social isolation, and lack of financial resources. We will address barriers to services such as cultural, language, legal, economic and the fear of deportation. In this workshop, we will discuss the dynamics of domestic violence and mental health in immigrant communities.

Speakers:  (Note: Spanish translators will be available)

Suhad Tabahi, Arab American Family Services
Fatima Hishmeh, Arab American Family Services
Hamza J. Salim, Arab American Family Services

Housing Resources Workshop
Room 2216, 2nd Floor

Participate in the Housing Resources Workshop provided by Northside Community Resources and the Rogers Park Community Development Corporation! This workshop will provide attendees with information and resources on Rental Housing, Foreclosure Prevention, and Homebuyer Assistance.

Participe el taller de Recursos de Vivienda de Northside Community Resource y el Rogers Park Community Development Corporation! Este  taller ofrecerá a los asistentes con información y recursos sobre Viviendas de Alquiler, Prevención de Embargos Hipotecarios y Asistencia para Compradores de Vivienda.

How To Build Power – Organizing and Advocating for CIR
Room 2627, 2nd Floor

Join Rudy Lopez and Gabe Gonzalez to learn about effective state and federal advocacy.

Protecting Our Workers
Room 2628, 2nd Floor

Hear about ground-breaking efforts to protect low-wage workers and ensure the health and safety of all workers:

Gabriela/ Jorge Mujica, ARISE Chicago

Organizing Workers around Wage Theft and the New Chicago City Ordinance

Martin Unzueta, Chicago Community and Workers Rights

Organizing workers against E-Verify and ICE Audits

Laura Garza, SEIU Local 1

Organizing Strong Workers in Strong Unions

Warehouse Workers UE

Organizing Workers With No Rights (Striking Walmart)


Study Abroad Opportunity in Sierra Leone!

February 6, 2013SarahBlog


If you are interested in postwar reconstruction and nation building in Africa, then Northern Illinois University (NIU) has the perfect study abroad opportunity for you!

The theme this year is “African Democracy and Socio-Economic Development through Sustainable Engineering”, where students will have the opportunity to broaden their horizons on cultural diversity and global interconnectedness by traveling to Sierra Leone!

In partnership with the University of Sierra Leone, this program will be held from June 15, 2013-June 30, 2013.


Students can pay for the program with financial aid. Graduate students can take up to 6 credits and undergraduates can take up to 9 credits. The program is open to any college student in the US. Students can use the independent studies to tailor a qualitative method course or any other course that is relevant to their discipline (political science, sociology, anthropology, history, etc.).

The admission is first-come-first-serve with only 14 slots.

The last day to register is March 1, 2013; reserve your spot, now! 

For more information, visit the African Democracy and Socio-Economic Development through Sustainable Engineering fact sheet by clicking here.

 Broaden your horizons and start your path in becoming a global citizen!

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