On Monday, key members of the President Barack Obama’s policy team briefed over 100 leaders of the African community in the United States.
The policy briefing focused on US-Africa policy, immigration policy, and included a strategy session with the Democratic National Congress (DNC).
The meeting was facilitated by the President of the United People for African Congress, Dr. Sylvester Okere.
During the briefing, Dr. Okere remarked on the lack of government engagement with African immigrants.
“For far too long Africans have not been allowed to make their full contributions to this great nation.
“We are very grateful that President Barack Obama has allowed us to make our case for full African integration in this country during Black History Month.
As Americans, we have resolved to break through the artificial barriers that prevent us from full participation and contributions to the United States of America,” Dr. Okere said.
Echoing Dr. Okere’s remarks, the Deputy Mayor of Newark Ugochukwu Nwaokoro, also stressed the importance of African participation in American politics.
“Politics is the vehicle by which all Africans must participate in ensuring our communities develop in vibrant and economically sustainable ways.
“The status quo in African marginalization in this country is costly and unacceptable.
“As Africans in America, we have so much to offer and we must continue to agitate and organize for full participation in this nation’s politics. America rises as we overcome,” Deputy Mayor Nwaokoro stated.
After the policy briefing, the attendees were treated to a strategy session led by the DNC. The session was intended to provide methods by which the African immigrant population in the US could further their goals.
Several officials and activists spoke during the session including remarks by the performance artist Anna Mwalagho. Using a blend of humor and truth she touched upon the many benefits African immigrants bring to the US.
The event marked one of the first times that the African immigrant community was addressed directly by a sitting US President.