Check out the latest in ASC news: Supreme Court rules against immigration relief, organization of the year, big honors to our advocacy director, Immigrant Community Law Center and much more!

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African Services Committee News
U.S Supreme Court Rules Against Immigration Relief

On June 23, the Supreme Court announced a disappointing 4-4 ruling in U.S. vs Texas, which is the case determining whether President Obama's 2014 immigration relief programs can go into effect. A tied decision from the Supreme Court means that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision is upheld, and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+) programs will not be implemented.

"The Supreme Court decision on DAPA and DACA+ is a blow to both millions of undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and tens of thousands of non-citizens who arrived in the United States as children," said Jessica Greenberg, Staff Attorney at African Services Committee's Immigrant Community Law Center.

"This is a disappointing setback that underscores the need for comprehensive immigration reform."

Click here for the full story.
ASC Awarded 'Member of the Year'

From left to right: Actress Ilfenesh Hadera, African Services Committee Co-Directors Kim Nichols and Asfaha Hadera, and Bakary Tandia, Policy Advocate at African Services Committee stand with "Member of the Year" award at NYIC's 2016 Gala at Capitale NY on Tuesday, May 24.
Thanks to photographer Stephen Yang and The New York Immigration Coalition for these stunning photos.

African Services Committee was named  "Member of the Year" alongside a number of champion supporters of immigrant communities in the United States, including Joyce Chang, Josefina Vázquez Mota and Suzette Brooks Masters, at t he New York Immigration Coalition's 2016 Gala, on May 24th at Capitale NY.

More than four hundred individuals representing community organizations, labor groups, faith organizations, businesses, and government gathered to celebrate at the elegant venue on Manhattan's Lower East Side

The New York Immigration Coalition, or NYIC - an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for 175 organizations that work with immigrants and refugees acr oss New York City and State - is a leading advocate for immigrant communities on the local, state, and national levels, bringing together multi-ethnic and multi-sector constituencies to pursue a common agenda. The NYIC's Annual Awards Gala, in turn, recognizes "diversity, energy, and the drive for positive change."

"Our partnership with the New York Immigration Coalition dates back to 1992, when we first joined forces to strike down the HIV immigration ban in the US. We have ridden buses together to Washington and Albany; tackled issues together such as the Dream Act, DACA, DAPA, language access, healthcare access, affordable housing, education, and fair wages for immigrants. Most recently, African Services Committee is proud to be part of the Black Immigrant Engagement Initiative, which we share with NYIC and several other Black immigrant legal and community services providers," said Kim Nichols, Co-Executive Director at African Services Committee, at The New York Immigration Coalition's 2016 Gala on receiving NYIC's "Member of the Year" award alongside ASC Founder and Co-Executive Director, Asfaha Hadera.

"African Services Committee is honored to be named Member of the Year and commend the New York Immigration Coalition, our partners too numerous to name, and the champions of the immigrant rights movement who continue to act in the interest of immigrants, refugees, asylees, asylum seekers, and all displaced people from wherever they may come."

Actress Ilfenesh Hadera, pictured below, daughter of Kim Nichols and Asfaha Hadera, presented NYIC's Member of the Year Award to African Services Committee.

"What does one do, where does one turn, when starting from scratch in a foreign land? With no source of income, often no legal documentation, little to no knowledge of the language, or of the food, with no shelter and no network to rely upon?

Luckily, they are able to turn to African Services Committee. I've watched, full of pride and awe for 30 years, Kim and Asfaha, or as I call them mama and papa, dedicate their lives to serving others. From their beautiful space in West Harlem they've worked tirelessly to create and sustain an organization which provides health, housing, legal, and supportive services to all who seek assistance," Ilfenesh said. 

Click here to check out this "Member of the Year" Gala video
the New York Immigration Coalition put together.

ASC Founder and Co-Executive Director Asfaha Hadera, Co-Executive Director Kim Nichols and Henry van Ameringen Shola Clinic Site Coordinator Ejegayehu Taddese
Critical Support Needed
for ASC Ethiopia   

Dear Friends of African Services Committee Ethiopia,

It's been 13 years since we first opened our clinic doors in Shola Market, one of the largest urban markets in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The first clinic began as an HIV counseling and testing site, even before antiretroviral treatment was yet publicly available in Ethiopia. At the outset, ASC was providing more than 10 percent of the HIV testing for the entire country of Ethiopia. Over time, as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria and the US PEPFAR programs began to make ART freely available in Ethiopia, ASC Ethiopia became the country's trusted third community-based ART treatment site, and we scaled up our in-house laboratories and diagnostic facilities to serve patients with HIV, tuberculosis, sexually-transmitted infections, and concurrent malnutrition. We built up our capacity to provide nutrition, reproductive health and family planning and income-generating projects for poor HIV households, and we opened additional clinics in Kombolcha, Mekele, Zeway, and   Hawassa. We sustained our free integrated clinic services through grants and subcontracts.
Now, not even a year after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, ASC Ethiopia is suffering a gap in funding support. Although recipient countries are expected to increase their domestic funding allocations to the health sector to at least 15 percent of their annual budgets, this expectation has not been met in most developing countries, including Ethiopia. In fact, though the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and their Pharmaceutical Fund Supply Agency contribute to ASC Ethiopia free pharmaceutical products and diagnostic reagents, and private aid agencies contribute condoms and oral and injectible contraceptives and emergency Ready to Use Therapeutic Food for children, there are insufficient resources available in our five clinics for program operations, including clinic staffing, transportation, clinic rent and maintenance.
We are appealing to our friends for help. We will need to raise $155,000 for the remaining months - July through December - of 2016.
Can you please support us today?
With all our gratitude,
Kim, Asfaha, Hana, and staff, alongside our thousands of patients in Ethiopia.

Please click here and donate to African Services Ethiopia today. Checks can be mailed to African Services Committee at 429 West 127th Street, New York, NY 10027.

ASC's Amanda Lugg Honored 
at Annual #qi3 Awards Dinner

By Obinna Onyenedum

ASC's Director of Advocacy, Amanda Lugg was honored by Queer Detainee Empower Project (QDEP) at the #qi3 Queering Immigration Awards Dinner on May 7th, 2016. She received the award in recognition for her decades of service for the LBGTQI, immigrant and HIV/AIDS community in NYC and across the nation.

"This work is life affirming, it's invigorating, it's what gets me up in the morning," said Amanda.

"I'm extremely honored to be the first recipient of this award and heartened by the QDEP Generation's fierce commitment, courage and creativity to see this work through to the end - the end of immigration detention."

QDEP is a "collective that assists folks coming out of immigration detention in securing structural, health/wellness, educational, legal and emotional support and services. In addition the project addresses the structural barriers and state violence that LGBTQI detainee/undocumented folks face related to their immigration status, race, sexuality and gender expression/identity."

A march to the UN followed "The Impact of Civil Society Exclusion on Ending the AIDS Epidemic by 2030," forum where participants held signs and chanted -- symbolizing unity and the strength of a collective voice.

The Impact of Civil Society Exclusion on Ending AIDS by 2030

By Ehim
wenma Osagie

ds crowded the Ford Foundation's East River Room on June 7th to hear from members of organizations excluded from the UN High Level 2016 Meeting (HLM) on Ending AIDS in the HLM Side Event "The Impact of Civil Society Exclusion on Ending the AIDS Epidemic by 2030," organized by African Services Committee, Housing Works, ICASO, MSMGF and Pangaea Global AIDS.
Although the purpose of the UN HLM was to discuss the ending of AIDS, it excluded twenty-two civil society organizations, on five continents, that provide services for LGBT communities, drug users, and other marginalized populations deeply affected by the AIDS epidemic.

"Whether by intention or omission, community organizations from populations most directly affected by HIV have been excluded, namely Men Who Have Sex With Men, Transgender People, People Who Use Drugs, People Living with HIV, Positive Youth Groups, as well as several major global and regional civil society networks. We cannot on one hand talk about Key Populations and on the other hand exclude their voice from the highest level forum in the global response to HIV. "

-- excerpt from an Open Letter sent to the UN Secretary-General by 200 organizations, including African Services Committee. Read the full letter here. 

The event created a space for advocates, who were unable to formally represent their organizations at the UN, to speak about how their exclusion contradicts the goals of the HLM and disrupts the goals of a collective effort to end AIDS by 2030.

"When you are excluded, it's the same language that's saying you don't exist," said Gift Trapence, pictured to the right, from excluded organization African Men for Sexual Health and Rights.

The event was introduced by Meg Davis, of the NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, who expressed the impact of exclusion and invisibility and its disruption of collective justice. Marama PalaBoard, Chair at ICASO, and Kim Nichols, Co-Executive Director at African Services Committee, moderated the lively panel discussion comprising five members from excluded organizations as well as audience members, many who also represented excluded organizations.
Panelists, alongside the audience, shared their outrage at being excluded and acknowledged that true and effective results can only happen through collective efforts.

"Only together we can eliminate HIV by 2030," said Daria Mogucheva, a panelist from Eurasian Network of People Who Use Drugs.

ASC in the NEWS
ASC's Director of Advocacy, Amanda Lugg, featured in The Guardian
"There's no way we can end this epidemic by 2030 without providing services and, in some countries, acknowledging the existence of these vulnerable communities."

--   African Services Committee's Director of Advocacy, Amanda Lugg, featured in The Guardian about the impact of civil society exclusion from The UN High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS

Click here to read the full story here.  

CCTV America features ASC 's Founder and Co-Executive Director, Asfaha Hadera 
CCTV - America's Karina Huber features ASC Founder and Co-Executive Director, Asfaha Hadera, in this Africa Day -inspired global television spot.

Click here to watch the video.  

Meet the Dream Team at ASC's 
Immigrant Community Law Center

Meet the dream team at ASC's Immigrant Community Law Center, ICLC, as they celebrated Immigrant Heritage Month and check out ICLC's new website and Facebook page!

Immigrant Community Law Center - ICLC was founded by African Services Committee in 2012 to provide high-quality, affordable, and trustworthy immigration legal representation. Serving all immigrants of all backgrounds, ICLC is staffed by this dedicated and culturally competent multilingual team of qualified attorneys and parale gals.

Click here to learn more at


Trailblazing Initiative Provides Immigration Legal Assistance

"The Black Immigrant Engagement Initiative builds collaboration between different black immigrant - led community groups to provide support and services to the black immigrant community," said Niat Amare, African Services Committee BIEI coordinator and BIA accredited representative, pictured here speaking at the Black Immigrant Initiative launch in May. 

"I am excited about this initiative as it seeks to develop strong partnerships among these community organizations. It will promote a sense of oneness and belonging in the black community, serving Africans, Afro Caribbeans, Afro Latinos and all those who identify as black."

African Services Committee is thrilled to provide much-needed immigration legal assistance as part of this promising initiative for the black immigrant community. We commend and thank The New York Immigration Coalition and our fellow partners for joining in this important effort.

New York has the largest black immigrant population in the country, with 910,000 black immigrants in New York -- nearly a quarter of the country's entire black immigrant population. BIEI will build an immigrant movement in New York that is representative of our communities and will help recognize these communities' experiences and contributions to the broader immigrant rights movement and to our city.

"In the future, we and your own children will join hands to celebrate an old but new world filled with justice, plenty of food to eat, clothes to cover our body, clean drinking water, safe streets and good schools, hospitals and clinics for all."

- from children in our pediatric HIV program
Despite a little wind and rain, African Services staff, family and friends joined 30,000 fellow walkers to take part in an event very dear to our hearts: AIDS Walk New York. This year, the event raised an incredible $4.5 million to help those living with HIV.

Once again, ASC dedicated the walk to help fund our pediatric HIV program in Ethiopia. Funds raised go directly to help the most vulnerable families, allowing us to continue their treatment, provide crucial nutritional supplements, purchase testing kits and lab supplies, and extend outreach to the most at-risk people in need.
It is not too late to directly support ASC's Ethiopia programs. Click here to donate.   

"Refugee" Special Screening

A special screening of the short documentary "Refugee," which featured beloved ASC client, Aicha, was held recently in select cities across the country. A portion of the ticket sales went to benefit Aicha's children and to cover final post-production costs on the film.  

ASC Immigrant Community Law Center's dedicated staff worked tirelessly to help Aicha and secure a bright future for her children.

See the official trailer and learn more here.

Amazon makes is easy to support ASC programs. When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to African Services Committee. All you need to do is bookmark the link and support us every time you shop!

Click here to support ASC when you shop.

Upcoming in NYC
Obinna Onyenedum, Communications Intern, recommends:

Destination Planet Negro
In 1939, a group of African American intellectuals come up with an ingenious and unlikely response to Jim Crow America -- leave the planet and populate Mars. Using technology created by George Washington Carver, a three-person crew (plus one rambunctious robot) lift-off in Earth's first working spaceship on a mission that will take them to a world not unlike present-day America. Their spacey adventure illuminates some hard truths about American culture, and threatens to undermine the time-line of history along the way.

Click here for more info and check out the trailer here.      

Africa United

Joyce Kilmer Park (free)
July 1 - 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm 

In collaboration with Bronx Museum FIRST FRIDAYS!

Grab a blanket for a free outdoor screening of Africa United, directed by Debs Gardner-Paterson. Featuring a special performance by Dayramir Gonzales & Habana enTRANCE. Music by DJ Asho. Produced in collaboration with Bronx Museum and Asho Productions.

Click here for more info and check out the trailer.    

Kirikou and the Wild Beasts & Orisha's Journey
Clove Lakes Park (free)
August 3 - 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Lilliputian hero Kirikou must outwit the evil witch Karaba in order to save his village in this follow-up to Michel Ocelot's animation masterpiece Kirikou and the Sorceress, produced by Didier Brunier (The Triplets of Belleville). Based on West African folk tales, with a soundtrack featuring songs by Youssou N'Dour, Rokia Traore, and others, Kirikou and the Wild Beasts proves that spirit, not size, is the key to overcoming all odds.

Rooted in African myth, Orisha's Journey is about a little girl and the power of imagination. Orisha, who doesn't believe in fables finds herself in one.
The screenings follow a music set by DJ Djib Sayo at  7:00pm .

Click here for more info and check out the trailer.   

Joyce Kilmer Park (free)
August 5 - 6 pm to 11 pm

Afripedia is a five-part short documentary series produced by the Swedish collective Stocktown. Shot in Kenya, Ghana, Angola, Senegal, and South Africa, each of the five episodes focus on a different group of artists and creators in their respective countries.

Stocktown Films presents an interlinked visual mixtape of today's most interesting emerging visual artists, filmmakers, fashion designers, musicians, photographers and cultural activists from Africa's biggest metropolises. Compelling, intimate stories told by African visionary artists who are pushing the boundaries of creative self-expression.  

Click here for info.
King Sunny Adé / Orlando Julius and The Afro Soundz / Rich Medina
July 3 - 2 pm to 7 pm (free)

King Sunny Adé , a beloved Nigerian musician, is undisputedly the most popular artist in Nigeria and highly acclaimed as a world artist -- appealing to music lovers across Africa and around the world. He has been performing to sold-out audiences around the world for more than 35 years.

All-time legend of Nigerian music, Orlando Julius
, plays classic Afrobeat with a psychedelic twist, heading into new and exciting directions. Few artists have been more crucial to the invention, development, and popularization of Afro-pop than Orlando Julius.  

Click here for info.

One Africa Music Fest is coming to Barclays Center on Friday, July 22, featuring Wizkid, Davido, Diamond Platnumz, Stonebwoy, Flavour, Tiwa Savage, Iyanya and host Banky W.

Click here for tickets.
Femi Kuti / Bombino

Prospect Park Bandshell
Jul 23, 2016 (free)
6:30 pm GATES / 7:30 pm SHOW

Femi Kuti, eldest son of Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo Kuti, began his career playing in his father's band Egypt 80. He founded his own group Positive Force, with Egypt 80's keyboard player Dele Sosimi, in 1986 and has never looked back. Though he has forged his own path and become a world music icon in his own right, "the baton is definitely in his hands." (Questlove) Kuti's relentless energy as a performer is matched by his activism - he has championed AIDS awareness and fighting disease through various projects, often in collaboration with other musicians, and has been outspoken on issues of poverty and corruption in Nigeria. While his art is inherently politicized, his shows are always joyous and fiercely celebratory occasions.

The Tuareg guitar wizard Bombino's "pyrotechnic virtuosity in expressing tichumaren (desert blues) has been compared to that of Jimi Hendrix." (NPR) Bombino, whose given name is Goumour Almoctar, was born in Tidene, Niger, an encampment of nomadic Tuaregs northeast of Agadez. His musical career has taken shape against the backdrop of his participation in various Tuareg rebellions since 1980, the year of his birth. He has, along the way, been championed by musicians ranging from the Rolling Stones to Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, who produced his Nonesuch Records debut Nomad (2013) to Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors, who produced his groundbreaking 2015 album Azel.

Click here for info.
Eirik Omlie, Communications Director, recommends:

Hailu Mergia
Pioneer Works in Brooklyn
July 01, 2016

During the golden years of Ethiopian music, as documented in the Ethiopique series, Hailu Mergia was among Ethiopia's most popular keyboard players. He was also the bandleader for the legendary Walias Band. In the early 80's, most members of the Walias band obtained political asylum while on tour in the US. Hailu Mergia settled in DC and spent most of his time driving a taxi until label Awesome Tapes from Africa released one of his lesser known solo album, the amazing Hailu Mergia & his Classical Instrument.

Hailu is now, again, a full time musician. His new project is a trio with DC-based musicians Alemseged Kebede and Kenneth Joseph. Kebede, who hails from Addis ababa as well, is deeply versed in the traditional songs in Mergia's catalog and is an active foil to Mergia's improvisational excursions. Joseph has toured the world with reggae bands including Culture and plays in Ethiopian bands around DC.

Click here for info.
Go Africa Harlem Festival
July 16th, 2016
116th Street between 7th Ave. and 8th Ave, Harlem

The Go Africa Network Inc. is hosting a one-day street festival full of dance, music and African art, African cuisine, clothing, health and wellness services, financial services, and city agency services within the boundaries of Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard (7th Avenue) and Frederick Douglass Boulevard (8th Avenue).

Click here for more info.

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