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.

Cameroonian Artiste, Petit Pays in Chicago

November 5, 2013NancyBlog

Petit Pays in Chicago

Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL)

October 29, 2013NancyBlog

On January 27, 2013, the governor of Illinois signed Senate Bill 957 into law, allowing undocumented immigrants in Illinois to obtain a temporary visitor driver’s license (TVDL). TVDLs are currently available to other categories of immigrants who cannot obtain a social security number, such as foreign students, spouses and children of temporary workers, and long-term visitors.  The new law extends the TVDL to undocumented immigrants who have lived at least one year in Illinois.

The TVDL enables an undocumented immigrant to drive legally in Illinois, without being arrested.  It does not change the immigration status of its holder, and is not considered a valid form of ID.  That is, it cannot be used to board an airplane or enter into a federal government building, for example, but it may be used by hospitals and first responders to indicate the license holder’s name and address.  A TVDL is visually distinct from a regular driver’s license; it has a purple color scheme rather than the red color scheme of the regular license. 

The TVDL is available for driver’s license class D, L, or M (cars and motorcycles) and is valid for three years.  A TVDL holder is required to have current liability insurance on the vehicle for the license to be valid. 

Secretary of State (SOS) offices will begin the process of issuing TVDLs to undocumented immigrants in December 2013.  An appointment is required before submitting an application.  Starting mid-November, undocumented immigrants can start making appointments to apply for TVDLs at selected SOS offices by calling 885-212-2687 or visiting www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

In order to apply for the TVDL, an undocumented immigrant must have lived for at least one year in Illinois, and is required to have valid car liability insurance and pass the applicable vision, written, and driving exams.  The application fee is $30 ($35 for motorcycles). 

After making an appointment, the applicant will be required to go to an SOS office and present the following documents: 

-       A valid government-issued ID that indicates name and date of birth.

  • This may be a valid, unexpired foreign passport or a Consular Card (only for Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador)

-       A document that contains a written signature.

  • For example: unexpired foreign passport, consular card, court order, credit card, US government issued ID, mortgage loan agreement, or Mexican electoral card.

-       A document that proves 12-month residency in Illinois.

  • For example: bank statement, utility bill, home insurance policy, certified school transcript, school tuition invoice.

-       Two documents that prove current address.

  • For example: consular card, certified school transcript, bank statement within past 90 days, utility bill, home insurance policy, certified school transcript, school tuition invoice.

Applicants are allowed to bring an interpreter to assist with the application process.  After the application is reviewed and approved by SOS, the TVDL will be issued and sent by mail.  Only SOS offices are authorized to issue TVDLs, and there are no additional fees other than the $30 application fee ($35 for motorcycles).

It is important to note that at the time of the application, SOS will check the identity and previous driving records of an applicant through facial recognition software.  TVDL applicants must finish serving any suspensions for previous violations, including driving without a license or using false information on previous license applications.

Click here for quick guides to the TVDL in English, Spanish, Korean, Polish, and Chinese.

Contributed by Salma Waheedi, 2013 UAO Intern 

Enroll Today for Healthcare Coverage – The Affordable Care Act

October 5, 2013AdminBlog, Healthcare

You can talk to someone for free about  your healthcare coverage options under the Affordable Care Act, aka, ObamaCare. UAO’s specially trained counselors will talk to you face-to-face or over the phone, and help you find and apply for the right coverage for you and your family.

Be sure to call ahead at 312-949-9980 to make sure we will be available to help you. Alternatively, complete the contact form below and someone will contact you within 24 hours. Read more →

Get Ready n Get Covered!

August 12, 2013NancyBlog, Healthcare

The new healthcare law, called the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, may impact you and your family! Under this law, there will be a new way to buy health insurance, in the health insurance marketplace.

You can begin to apply to get health insurance on OCTOBER 1, 2013.

In the meantime, here are a few things you NEED to do:

F2A Family-Based Visa Category becomes Current in August 2013

August 7, 2013NancyBlog

There is good news for spouses and children (unmarried and under the age of 21) of lawful permanent residents, aka F2A category, this month! Starting August 1, 2013 through at least August 31, 2013, the F2A category has a current priority date for nationals all over the world.

This means that all foreign nationals who are the spouse or child (unmarried and under the age of 21) of a green card holder may apply for lawful permanent resident status immediately.

If the spouse or child of the permanent resident is currently in the U.S., the permanent resident should file the I-130 and I-485 as soon as possible. If the I-130 has already been submitted and is either pending or approved, the permanent resident should go ahead and file the I-485 during the month of August.

If the spouse or child of the permanent resident is outside of the U.S., the permanent resident should file the I-130 as soon as possible. If the I-130 has already been submitted and it is approved before or in August, the permanent resident should go ahead and initiate consular processing in their home country’s U.S. Consulate during the month of August.

Below is the chart for family-based immigrant visa numbers for August 2013

Family-Sponsored All Charge-ability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 01SEP06 01SEP06 01SEP06 01SEP93 01JAN01






F2B 01DEC05 01DEC05 01DEC05 01FEB94 22DEC02
F3 08DEC02 08DEC02 08DEC02 01MAY93 01DEC92
F4 22JUN01 22JUN01 22JUN01 22SEP96 08JAN90

So whether you already have a petition filed under the F2A category or whether you do not yet have a visa petition filed for you and are the spouse or child of a permanent resident, you should act as soon as possible to take advantage of the F2A category’s current priority date. We are not sure if the F2A category will remain current beyond the month of August, so do not miss this opportunity.

Click here for more information on petitioning for a family member.

How does CIR affect Black Immigrants?

June 27, 2013SarahBlog

The African Ministry of Trinity United Church of Christ will be hosting a panel discussion this Sunday to discuss how comprehensive immigration reform impacts Black immigrants.

Will you have your voice heard?


African Voices is back with episode 19!

June 18, 2013SarahBlog


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: podcast@uniteafricans.org or call 312-949-9980.

 Support our work by making a donation today!  


125th Anniversary of Ugandan Matyrs Day

June 7, 2013NancyBlog

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
  • Kizito
  • 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)

Page 10 of 15« First...89101112...Last »