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.
African Voices Podcast offers the African community in Illinois the opportunity to have their voices heard. In addition to upcoming events and local and global news relevant to the African community, we feature key findings from our African Cabdriver Health Survey and advice on accessing healthcare.
If you would like to contribute news stories, events, issues, interviews or music to our podcast, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-949-9980.
June 3rd marked the 125th anniversary of Martyrs Day in commemoration of the 22 Uganda Catholic Martyrs who were murdered in 1886. In Uganda, the day was a culmination of several days of trekking, sacrifice, prayer and meditation by pilgrims to the Catholic shrine that was built at the spot where St. Charles Kalooli Lwanga was burnt. In Chicago, the Ugandan community is marking this day with a special event on June 8th at St Hubert Catholic Church, 729 Grand Canyon Street, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169.
The Uganda Martyrs were Christian converts who were murdered for their faith in the historical kingdom of Buganda, now part of Uganda. The main reasons for their murder were refusal to offer sacrifices to the traditional gods and objection to and resistance to King Mwanga’s homosexual practices. Their killings seem to have been tied to specific resistance to Mwanga’s attempts to engage in homosexual practices with those killed immediately before the killings.
Saint Charles (Carl) Lwanga and his companions, Martyrs of Uganda, were a group of Christians (both Roman Catholics and Anglicans) who were murdered by Mwanga II, the Kabaka (King) of Buganda, between 1885 and 1887. These deaths were part of a three-way religious struggle for political control of the Buganda royal court. In 1877, the Church Missionary Society in London had sent Protestant missionaries to the court, followed two years later by the French Catholic White Fathers. These two competed with each other and the Zanzibar-based Muslim traders for converts and influence. By the mid-1880s, many members of the Buganda court had converted and become proxies for the religious and nationalist conflict being played out in the court. Kabaka Mwanga II, upon his ascent to the throne, attempted to destroy the foreign influences he felt threatened the Buganda state, but was instead deposed by armed converts in 1888.
Anglican James Hannington, the Protomartyr, had been dispatched to be the bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, but he was executed with his companions before they could enter Buganda.
Twenty-two of the martyrs were Roman Catholics and were canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 18, 1964. Although the Anglicans were not canonized in the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope did mention them.Their feast day is June 3. They were:
- Achileo Kiwanuka
- Adolphus Ludigo-Mukasa
- Ambrosius Kibuuka
- Anatoli Kiriggwajjo
- Andrew Kaggwa
- Antanansio Bazzekuketta
- Bruno Sserunkuuma
- Charles Lwanga
- Denis Ssebuggwawo Wasswa
- Gonzaga Gonza
- Gyavira Musoke
- James Buuzaabalyaawo
- John Maria Muzeeyi
- Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe
- Lukka Baanabakintu
- Matiya Mulumba
- Mbaga Tuzinde
- Mugagga Lubowa
- Mukasa Kiriwawanvu
- Nowa Mawaggali
- Ponsiano Ngondwe
The Ugandan Martyrs were featured in the film Millions. (www.wikipedia.org)
The Chicago City Council adopted a resolution on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 in support of UAO’s advocacy to include Diversity Visa Program in the proposed comprehensive immigration reform bill. The diversity visa program is one of the few options available for Africans to come to the US as immigrants. Eliminating the program will have a negative impact on the future flow of black immigration.
In this historic moment, we would like to thank Alderman Will Burns (4th ward) for his tireless effort to have this resolution adopted in the City of Chicago.
On Saturday, May 18th, United African Organization hosted its 7th Annual Chicago African Summit & Resource Fair at the Northeastern Illinois University’s Carruther’s Center for Inner City Studies.
At the Summit, attendees had the opportunity to reflect on critical issues that affect the African community. Panel discussions on comprehensive immigration reform, accessing healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, and organizing African immigrants and refugees on the local and national level informed the community on how these policies affect them and the importance of advocacy work to fight African issues.
Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL-1) gave the keynote speech, further motivating the crowd to be advocates for change in regards to African issues.
We would like to thank all of our panelists for providing thought-provoking information and stimulating conversation throughout the day, as well as all of our interns and volunteers for making this event a success.
A special thanks to the organizations that participated in the Resource Fair providing health, immigration, legal, and employment services to the community.
Want more information on our annual Summit and Resource Fair? Contact us today at 312-949-9980
Until next year!
On May 1, 2013 UAO and allies rallied together to demand legalization for all undocumented immigrants under the Gang of 8′s proposed immigration reform bill.
SATURDAY, MAY 18TH
NEIU Carruther’s Center for Inner City Studies
700 E. Oakwood Blvd, Chicago IL 60615
The Chicago Summit on African Immigrants & Refugees is the premier forum of its kind in the Midwest with a special focus on contemporary African issues, public policy advocacy and community empowerment. This FREE forum brings together scholars, legislators, community activists, policy analysts and students, and individuals like you, to engage in constructive dialogue about Africa and the Diaspora.
The Resource Fair offers information and resources on Immigration, Legal Assistance, Employment, Housing, Health, Education, Business, and many more.
On April 16, 2013, UAO Executive Director Alie Kabba held a lecture at the American Islamic College on “Advancing Social Justice and Opportunity: Perspectives on Immigrant Activism and Civic Engagement”.
Lecture Details (provided by American Islamic College):
As the US Senate deliberates on key elements of a comprehensive immigration reform bill that President Obama has promised to sign into law, the fate of the nation’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants is now squarely in the domain of public discourse. The journey from the shadows to full inclusion in the fabric of our democracy is a story of immigrant mobilization, engagement and, ultimately, integration as part of the quest to build a more perfect union. The immigrant rights movement, like the civil rights movement, has played a critical role in the struggle for social justice and equal opportunity for all. Drawing on recent experience in Illinois, this lecture will highlight the dynamism of immigrant activism to achieve significant public policy victories at local, state and national levels.
For more lectures and UAO updates, ‘like’ us on Facebook!