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.

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!


January 17, 2013SarahBlog

Dear concerned global citizens, get involved and support TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS for Mali! Over the last ten months, the situation in northern Mali has escalated, with the resignation of the Prime Minister and the inability of the government to respond appropriately to the destructive armed insurgency. Over 350,000 people have been displaced and many are unable to meet their basic needs as they struggle to recover from forced evacuations as well as the remnants of a severe drought earlier in 2012. Given the current situation, deporting hundreds of Malians from the United States would only exacerbate this volatile climate and needlessly place people perilous in situations.

Temporary protected status (TPS) designation for Mali would protect those Malians in the US that need stability until the violence and conflict in their home country subside. TPS would allow those who are eligible to live, work, and study in the United States until it is safe for them to return home. In addition, TPS would enable Malians to provide support and aid to their families and communities, offering relief to those affected.

You can make a difference by calling the Secretary of DHS, Janet Napolitano, at 202-282-8000 or find your local representative by clicking here: find your local representative. You can also send the White House a letter here.


Malians wave to French soldiers as a convoy of armored vehicles leaves Bamako and starts a deployment to the north of Mali, Jan. 15, 2013. / GETTY

African Immigrant Community featured in Chicago Tribune

January 16, 2013SarahBlog, Photo Reel

Mary Ngomb, a hair braider, originally from Senegal (Terrence Antonio James, Chicago Tribune)

In an article on Monday, January 14, 2013, Chicago Tribune reporter Antonio Olivo featured Chicago’s fastest growing immigrant population: Africans. In his article, Olivo touches on African migration patterns within the Chicagoland area, as well as visions from the community to make Chicago’s south-east side distinctly unique to African culture. Here are some excerpts :


Over the past decade, the 700 block of East 79th Street has undergone a transformation that points to another shift in Chicago’s ethnic landscape.

First came Yassa, a Senegalese restaurant whose spicy, rich cuisine has garnered attention from foodies across the region. Then Mandela, an African grocery store, opened next door, followed by two hair braiding shops and a Senegalese tailor across the street.

Now, the colorful business strip lies at the heart of hopes within one of the city’s fastest-growing immigrant groups for an “African village” that can stake a claim to a neighborhood in the same way that newcomers have shaped pockets of Chicago for generations.

“We see this as an anchor around which we can see other community development aspects flourishing and, over time, use it to create our resources and, hopefully, our political power, just like in other communities,” said Alie Kabba, director of the United African Organization, an umbrella group that has been scouting the 79th Street area for property to use as an African community center.

Since 1990, the number of Africanimmigrants in the Chicago area has quadrupled to an estimated 42,300, now the country’s fifth-largest African population behind New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Minneapolis, U.S. census figures show.

The growth comes as older immigrant groups like the Italians and Irish that once dominated certain city neighborhoods shrink, and as members of larger groups such as Mexicans and Poles move to the suburbs or return to their native lands in search of better opportunities.

For decades, African immigrants have been concentrated in North Side neighborhoods such as Uptown and Edgewater, where refugees from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia moved to be close to the many social service agencies based there.

While those communities continue to grow, Africans from Senegal, Nigeria, Mali and Ghana have been moving to the South Side, where rents and home pricesare cheaper, community leaders say. Others have been moving to the southwest suburbs.

The community’s growth on the South Side can be seen in hair braiding shops that do brisk business among soul food restaurants and sneaker stores in Bronzeville and Chatham or in the clusters of taxicabs parked outside mosques and churches in the shadow of the Chicago Skyway.

For the full article, visit the Chicago Tribune website by click here

Sahel Calling: Musicians Defend Human Rights

January 10, 2013SarahBlog

Sahel Calling is an interactive, musical project to raise awareness about the refugees, internally-displaced persons and the people living in the conflict-affected areas of Mali and the Sahel. The Sahel Calling Project works with guidance from Oxfam, UNHCR and Conscience International.

The project is inspired by the musicians in the region who are risking their lives by singing and speaking about the political situation and the violation of human rights.


As of October 2012, an estimated 208,000* refugees have fled the north of Mali for other countries due to drought and famine – hardships which were then exacerbated by rebel insurgences which shut down infrastructure and led to a “justice” system that violates human rights.

There are also 203,000* “internally-displaced persons”(IDPs) to consider, who have fled but remain in Mali, as well as all of the people still living in the north of Mali under life-threatening risks from drought and famine and limited infrastructure, including the closure of markets, hospitals, banks, etc.

There has been destruction of cultural and religious landmarks and manuscripts, and the imposition of human rights violations. Among more atrocious violations is the outlawing of the creation of or enjoyment of music.

To find out how YOU can help Sahel Calling, visit their website and donate today! 

Pour la version Français, cliquez ici, s’il vous plaît: http://www.indiegogo.com/lappeldusahel

(Source: Sahel Calling)

Bill Passes for Driver’s Licenses for ALL Immigrants in Illinois!

January 9, 2013SarahBlog

SPRINGFIELD– On Tuesday, January 8th, 2013, Illinois law makers passed bill SB 957, allowing ALL immigrants in Illinois to obtain a Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s License. The bill passed through the House on a vote of 65-46 and passed through the Senate (41-14-1) in early December.

When it becomes law, undocumented immigrants in Illinois will be able three-year renewable licenses as long as they provide proof of residency in the state. The new law could impact approximately 250,000 undocumented immigrants drivers in Illinois. Supporters argued that the bill would make the state’s roads safer since applicants would have to pass driving tests and would likely be eligible to purchase insurance. – ABC

 Congratulations to everyone who worked hard in lobbying, and to those in support of this important bill!
Thank you for making highways SAFE in Illinois!

If you have more questions on how this effects you or someone you know,
please call us at: 312-949-9980
and don’t forget to visit Highway Safety Coalition for more information! 
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