Episode 41: Meron Semedar spent years running for his life, now he’s running for election to the city council in Oakland, Calif.

Mr. Meron Semedar, a refugee from Eritrea, is seeking to become the first African-born person to be elected to the city council in Oakland, California. Semedar, who wants to represent District 3, has spent nearly two decades in community organizing, and advocating for immigrant, refugee, and human rights.

Now a proud U.S. citizen, he believes that he has something unique to offer Oakland. He’s also urging African immigrants across America to get more involved in the local politics of the community they now call home.

Meron Semedar protesting Muslim ban/refugee ban at the San Francisco International Airport. PHOTO CREDIT: Meron Semedar for Oakland City Council, District 3


Episode 27: Meet the Woman Who Has Spent Decades Fighting to Protect Africa’s Image

In 2012, President Barack Obama honored Nunu Kidane as a “Champion of Change”. Kidane, who is the executive director of San Francisco Bay Area-based Priority Africa Network, talks about her unconventional  journey as an African immigrant advocating for the continent and its  people in the Diaspora. Kidane, also speaks about the census, its history and why it is important for Africans to make sure they get a complete count in the 2020 U.S. census.

Africans in Oakland, California getting ready to participate in a caravan protest organized by Africans for Social Justice and Equal Rights. Photo by Khaboshi Imbukwa

African Immigrants Join Fight for Social Justice in America

The plight of black people in the United States is well documented. In fact, it started with slavery, centuries before the country was founded. Slavery ended in the United States following the Civil War. But that would no be the end of the suffering of African Americans. Jim Crow laws were enacted in the southern states, which had fought against the abolition of slavery and lost. The era of segregation and systemic racist violence and lynchings of black people lasted from 1877 to 1960. Segregation should have ended with the President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing or the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

Continue reading “African Immigrants Join Fight for Social Justice in America”

Africa Can Learn from Successful Refugees and Immigrants Abroad

Dr. Anisa M. Ibrahim. Photo. University of Washington.Medical Center

The terms “refugee”, “immigrant”, or “asylum seeker” often conjure up images of people climbing fences and walls, or crammed in life rafts crossing dangerous oceans and seas. The media and the Internet are full of pictures and videos of refugees desperate to escape atrocities. Women can be seen carrying young children and babies crying because they’re too hungry or scared or both. These migrants usually flee in search of peace.

But that peace is elusive, as people in host countries often turn out to be as hostile and unwelcoming as the home the refugees fled. Cries of “They’re draining our resources! The crime rate has risen! They don’t speak English!” are all too familiar. In addition to that, the rise of right-wing nationalism in the west have emboldened those making racist remarks against refugees and immigrants. When xenophobic citizens in the hosts countries blame people fleeing persecution for everything wrong that happens in the community, they are in a way conducting war on the same victims. The war is psychological, but it’s still war. Continue reading “Africa Can Learn from Successful Refugees and Immigrants Abroad”