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.

UAO’s COVID-19 Response

March 18, 2020AdminBlog

UAO’s COVID-19 Response As At March 18, 2019


















UAO’s COVID-19 Response As At March 11, 2019

UAO’s Staffing & Office Hours:
The UAO office will remain open during normal business hours (9am to 5pm) with reduced staff. We are implementing a rotational system in which some staff work from the office while others work from home.

Events & Workshops are on hold. These include:

  • African Youth Forum (March 28)
  • Census (Outreach + Questionnaire Assistance sessions)
  • Money Mondays (March 23 and 30 workshops)


2020 Travel Ban

February 3, 2020NancyAdvocacy, Blog, Immigration

On January 31, 2020, the Trump administration issued a presidential proclamation that expands the Travel Ban to nationals of 6 new countries: Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan. This is effective 12:01 am EST on February 21, 2020.


Know Your Rights

UAO hosts “Know Your Rights” information sessions in our communities. Click Here to request a training.


UAO Announces New Executive Director

September 11, 2018NancyBlog, Editorial Nook

The Board of Directors of United African Organization (UAO) writes to you to announce a leadership transition in United African Organization’s executive director. As you may know, Alie Kabba, our longtime staff leader, has been appointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the new government of Sierra Leone. There could be no better reason for a transition, and we are so proud of him and thank him for his years of dynamic leadership in Chicago.

On behalf of the United African Organization Board of Directors, it is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Nancy Asirifi-Otchere, to the UAO executive director position.  We are delighted that she has accepted the promotion and look forward to her execution of UAO’s new three-year strategic plan and to her taking a higher profile role in the African diaspora community. As we worked to develop our new strategic plan, it became clear to us all that Nancy’s knowledge of the UAO and insight into what community members need and want from UAO is very strong. We look to her to take the organization to the next level of development, and are committed to helping her achieve thatNancy holds an MBA from the University of Southern Denmark and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Management, and is a DOJ-accredited immigration representative. For the past nine years, she has represented the UAO in various capacities including most recently, as UAO’s program director. Her promotion is effective immediately.

The UAO is a federation of many of the local African community-based organizations as well of individuals. Over the past decade, UAO has been a vehicle for African leadership development through community organizing, policy advocacy, and community research; provided a range of family support and immigration services to community members; and helped other organizations build their capacity. It hosts annual conferences including the African Youth Forum for immigrant Africans, native-born African Americans, and other immigrant young people.

Over the past 10 months the UAO completed a new strategic plan and succession plan with generous grant support from the Polk Bros. Foundation, the Field Foundation of Illinois and the Woods Fund of Chicago. The strategic plan zeroed onto six action priority areas:

  1. A community-wide assessment;
  2. The engagement of more second-generation Africans;
  3. Development of the organization’s advocacy and organizing initiatives.
  4. Organizational development prioritizing the staff leadership succession
  5. Board strengthening
  6. Increasing communications and fundraising activities.

If you have questions or comments, you can reach UAO Board Chair, Godfrey Chinomona  at godfrey.chinomona@uniteafricans.org.


Temporary Protected Status Renewal – Haiti

UAO Reaffirms Dignity of All Immigrants and Refugees Amid Racist Comments from White House

January 12, 2018AdminAdvocacy, Blog, Immigration
January 12, 2018
Nancy Asirifi-Otchere, United African Organization, 312-949-9980


United African Organization Reaffirms Dignity of All Immigrants and Refugees Amid Racist Comments from White House

United African Organization condemns President Trump’s derogatory remarks yesterday about Black immigrants from Africa and Haiti as shocking and shameful. Once again, refugees and immigrants are faced with an attack on our basic dignity.

For the past year, we have faced executive orders banning refugees and individuals from African and Muslim countries from entering the country. Many Africans coming into the USA were detained and, in many cases, sent back. We have seen the dismantling of the U.S. refugee program, the rescinding of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for hundreds of thousands Black and Brown immigrants terminated.


Nancy Asirifi-Otchere issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s offensive comments from the White House:

“Dismissing people from countries whose populations who are not white, as ‘not welcome’ is racist. Yesterday’s remarks from the White House do not represent American values and disrespects the humanity of millions of people.

We are disgusted by the president’s plan to use undocumented young people as bargaining chips to scrap current legal family-based immigration and the diversity visa program. These are some of the limited programs that allow Africans to make the US a new home.”

United African Organization stands with all marginalized communities and reaffirms the dignity of all immigrants and refugees. Additionally,

We Demand a Clean Dream Act that provides a pathway to legal status.
We Demand Protection for beneficiaries of of Temporary Protected Status
We Oppose the Family Ban
We Oppose Elimination of the Diversity Visa Program
We Oppose Separation of Families

Scholarships for DACA Renewal Applications

The USCIS fee for a DACA Renewal Application is $495. For many, affording this fee is such a short time can be stressful and prevent them from renewing their applications. A number of organizations are offering scholarships to help DACA recipients who need to renew their applications before the October 25 deadline.

If you currently have DACA and your DACA benefits would expire before March 5, 2018, then you should submit an application to renew your DACA before October 5, 2017.


Get Help with the USCIS Fee of $495

Mission Asset Funds (MAF)Apply Here 

Protection for All Movement: To Apply, Email protectionforall@gmail.com

The Mexican Consulate in Chicago is offering assistance from $300. To Apply, visit the Consulate, 204 S. Ashland Ave., or call its Protection Department at (312) 738-2023 during regular office hours by October 5th.   

UndocumediaTo apply for a $495 scholarship, fill out this form.

UnDocuBlack Network: To Apply, email Patrice@undocublack.org OR out this form.

The Resurrection Project: To Apply, call 312-666-3062

Get Free Help Renewing Your DACA

There are many FREE workshops around you. Alternative call UAO on  312-949-9980.

DACA Recission – What You should Know

The Trump administration announced that they are ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The future of nearly a million young people are on the line. Since 2012, the DACA program has opened doors for employment, opportunities for education, and provided protection from deportation for beneficiaries. It’s up to us to act now.


New Applicants:

  • New initial DACA applications will not be accepted after September 5, 2017. Your application must be received by September 5th to be considered for DACA as a new applicant. Text “DACA” to 630-524-4106 for a list of low cost legal service providers.

Work Permits:

  • If your DACA work permit expires before March 5, 2018, and you want to renew, DHS must receive your renewal application before October 5, 2017. Applications will not be accepted after October 5th. (Applicable only through October 5th)]
  • If your DACA work permit expires after March 5, 2018, you will not be able to apply to renew. Please consult an attorney to review your options.

Advance Parole:

  • If you are outside the country with advance parole, make sure to return right away and while your advance parole and EAD are valid. DHS has stated that it will generally honor previously granted advance paroles, but that it retains the authority to revoke or terminate an approved advance parole. The safest route is to return as soon as possible.
  • If you have been granted advance parole under DACA but have not yet left the United States, speak with an attorney to determine potential risks before doing anything.
  • As of today (September 5th), DHS is NOT granting any new applications for advance parole even if your DACA is still valid.


If Your Work Permit Expires:

  • You have the right to work legally until your work permit’s expiration date.
  • Your employer does not have the right to ask you whether you are a DACA recipient or how you got your work permit.
  • Your employer does not have the right to fire you, put you on leave, or change your work status until after your work permit has expired. If your expiration date is nearing, your employer may ask you for an updated work permit but cannot take any action against you until after it is expired. (See info above about your potential eligibility to renew)
For more information about your rights as an employee see this advisory by the National Immigration Law Center: https://www.nilc.org/issues/ daca/daca-and-workplace- rights/.
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