A conversation with the Founder and Curator of ANASTYBOY Richard Akuson on Homophobia

March 11, 2019

Richard Akuson, Esq. is a born Nigerian trained attorney now seeking refuge in America, in February 2017 partially inspired by his undergraduate thesis titled ‘Human Rights and The Anti-Gay Laws of The Federal Republic of Nigeria’ and his personal lived experiences growing up gay in Nigeria Richard founded A Nasty Boy an online publication that sprung up media spotlight on queerness and masculinity which led to the attack on his life.

 

Richard had to flee and now lives in The United States of America seeking Refugee, he had opportunity to discuss with me about his take on homophobia and the importance of having role models in our communities. To get in touch with richard please visit or learn more about his work please visit https://richardakuson.com/a-nasty-boy/

 

Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States. Visit my website https://www.edafeokporo.com

 

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Safer use of Grindr App a conversation with Jack Harrison

February 13, 2019

Jack Harrison-Quintana, M.A., is a Queer Latino activist, author, and researcher currently serving as the Director of Grindr for Equality. Grindr for Equality is a program to promote LGBTQ health and human rights by the world's largest queer dating app. Jack explained the four strategies of his work:

  1. Messaging, connecting Grindr users with local LGBTQ organizations and information

  2. Research, raising the voices of the community of users by engaging them in participatory research

  3. App architecture, bringing social justice into the product itself, including in the areas of health, trans-inclusion, and safety

  4. Funding, providing small grants to LGBTQ organizations working on the ground around the world

We discussed key projects under Jack's leadership such as Kindr Grindr, the language access program, and sexual health reminders on the Grindr app.

 

Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States. Visit my website www.edafeokporo.com

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Be a Bridge by Edafe Okporo

January 28, 2019

Edafe Okporo Guest Speaker at the first Jersey City Immigration Symposium hosted by the city division of immigrant affairs.

Edafe Okporo speaks about his experience as an asylum seeker and what lead him to fighting for immigrants rights. He urge all citizens and community leaders to be a bridge for others to climb upon.

 

More Information please visit:

www.edafeokporo.com

Choices you make are very formative with Floyd

January 7, 2019

People from all ages learn from knowledge reflected upon, getting access to knowledge is easy to do but that is not where wisdom is born,  the hardest thing to get is understanding because understanding is reflecting on experiences.

The use of mobile devices in the modern day world and how it affects activism. Reflecting on how the use of mobile devices and the challenges that comes with running a physical space competing against Netflix for 12 dollars a month to get someone of their couch.

Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States. Visit my website www.edafeokporo.com

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Making Gay History Podcast Host Eric Marcus in a conversation with Edafe Okporo

January 1, 2019

Eric Marcus is an American Non fiction writer. His works are primarily of LGBTQ interest. The #1 New York Times best-selling autobiography of Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis. In addition, Eric has written articles and columns for the New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, and Newsweek. The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945–1990, which won the Stonewall Book Award. Other topics he's addressed in his writing include suicide and pessimistic humor.

 

Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States. Visit my website www.edafeokporo.com

 

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Uncommon sense in Unusual times with Csaba Toth

December 24, 2018

Csaba Toth 

What do you do for a living? The very short answer is that I teach uncommon sense in unusual times. The longer version is that I help companies keep their best people and attract new talent through Intelligent Global Leadership, so they can lead them in a way that they feel valued, understood and able to turn their differences into synergy instead of painful liability.

60-80% of all problems in a company are due to strained relationships between employees...the top 3 reasons are clash of personalities, clash of values and poor leadership. We address all 3 of them at the same time as they stem from the same source...the lack of understanding why people think and behave differently and how to turn those differences into synergy instead of painful liability.

 We address this issue on 2 levels:

  • Individual as most people use 10% of their personality and the other 90% is waiting to be unlocked.
  • Group level, as smart people rarely excel as a team. Companies hope to create synergy by combining their skills, in reality, 79% of their potential gets lost due to interaction gap...that is not great for business.

We have 21st century solutions to dramatically improve both levels by expanding their comfort zone and enhancing their behavioural flexibility.

Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States. www.edafeokporo.com

 

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Beyond Representation of LGBTQ and people of color by media a conversation with Samuel Nemir Olivares Bonilla

December 18, 2018

The Mainstream news media have no latino or black reporter, the narratives of immigrants, people of color and LGBTQ people have been reported dominated by white reporters, who lack cultural competency.

 

Online conversation have a real impact on law makers, social media is an effective way of demanding change in legislation from lawmakers, social media have allowed people in their home and voice to take a stand. Social media is a wonderful tool for political change example is the black lives matter movement and me too movement resulted from online conversation. Social media allow safe participation, anonymity this have resulted in responsive social movement.

We have a Twitter president, but were also glad for the amount of online activist we have that counter this informations, the president pass a legislation on muslim ban but social media allow people to rally up and gather to protest

Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States. www.edafeokporo.com

 

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International Human rights day 2018 with Jack Harrison-Qunitana and Mathew Shurka

December 17, 2018

Mathew Shurka is the leading global advocate for ending conversion therapy. Driven to prevent others from being subjected to this ineffective practice, Mathew boldly posted his personal story on Youtube in 2012. As a result, organizations nationwide sought Mathew’s support to protect LGBTQ youth. In conjunction with the #BornPerfect campaign Mathew’s work has passed legislation in fourteen US states, more than a dozen cities, including Washington DC, and introduced US federal legislation to prohibit the use of conversion therapy amongst minors. What makes Mathew’s work evermore remarkable, is his approach to work directly with his oppostion to create social justice.

 

Jack Harrison-Quintana, M.A., is a queer Latino activist, demographer, and researcher currently serving as the director of Grindr for Equality. Prior to his current position, Jack worked for the National LGBTQ Task Force, the Global Trans Research and Advocacy Project (GTRAP), the National Center for Transgender Equality, and Khmera. In 2010. Jack earned both his B.S. in International Studies and his M.A. from the interdisciplinary program, Communication, Culture, and Technology, from Georgetown University.

Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States. www.edafeokporo.com

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The importance of faith based institutions in accepting LGBTQ rights with Bruce Knotts

November 27, 2018

Bruce Knotts is the Director of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office

Bruce was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia. He worked for Raytheon in Saudi Arabia and on a World Bank contract in Somalia, before he joined the Department of State as a U.S. diplomat in 1984. In 2004, Bruce was elected to the Board of Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA). Bruce retired from the Foreign Service in 2007 and joined the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office as its Executive Director at the beginning of 2008.

He was discriminated for his sexual orientation and filled a complaint against the department of state, because of three strikes which are: based on his sexual orientation, color of his husband skin and social class. This led to his resignation and started his work with NGO

He now works as the head of a faith based institution, he talks about the intersection of his work and the reality of how homosexuality is being viewed by various religious based organizations. He also spoke about how seeking asylum is a right of the asylum seeker by international law, listen to the full episode of the podcast.

Bruce: I came to the UN with a purpose to promote LGBTQI rights, when I got here to UN New York in 2008 people look at me strangely speaking on LGBTQI rights, as I continue my work we got a upliftment in the movement with more than 65+ countries signed the draft document to end discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States. Visit my website www.edafeokporo.com

 

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VOTE FOR US CAMPAIGN BY Immigration Equality

November 6, 2018

VOTE FOR US CAMPAIGN BY Immigration Equality, the nations leading law firm representing LGBTQ and HIV positive asylum seekers with pro-Bono legal service.

Immigration equality started the #vote4US movement, Aaron C. Morris is Immigration Equality’s Executive Director. Prior to becoming ED, Aaron led the organization’s law and policy programs. As such, he has supervised Immigration Equality’s legal services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and lobbying efforts.

I sat with Aaron to discuss with him what is like to be the executive Director of Immigration equality, he explained his journey of joining immigration equality from law school, as a staff attorney in 2008, I had client and mentor attorney in our pro-Bono network, I became the senior staff attorney, became the director of policy in the beginning of 2016 I became the point head of the organization and still have 8 clients.

Quote Aaron “We were founded in 1994 because there was a gap in legal service for LGBT and HIV positive people, it make sense because of the internationality and is an undeserved population due to historic stigma and discrimination. Aaron explain is organization focus on this two group are closed tied into the structure, being that LGBT people are mostly affected by HIV, it became evident to combine the fight for LGBTQ and HIV positive persons which have been classified as marginalized groups.

Aaron also pleaded for people who can vote they should vote, one of our campaign is the vote for #us campaign, I think we should ask our representatives if they are not supporting LGBTQ and friendly to LGBTQ policies do not vote for them. There are more people that believe immigrants enrich our country, than those who believe the otherwise, we are in a difficult time but we should go out and vote.

Since the mid 1990’s United States have accepted sexual orientation and gender identity as protected grounds under the asylum law, we have won a lot of case for people living with HIV who are not LGBT, so people can come to the United States and seek asylum on this basis but since the Trump administration the work has become more difficult, I would not advice an incoming asylum seekers to ask for asylum at the border because they would be detained and you would be in detention till your cases have a final decision. If you come on a visa and want to apply for asylum that is a different part, you might be detained but is likely not possible.

Aaron advice asylum seekers who do not have legal representation to get as much information as they can to enable, they can access such information from www.immigrationequality.org if you cannot find a lawyer, at least consultation with a legal firm is ideal. Is our hope to always give someone the basic tool to give people help.

Asylum seekers who are on HIV medication should not stop taking their medication because the public charge policies does not apply to them, seek legal consultation and if you need any help call immigration Equality.

I ended the session with the support I got from immigration equality, many asylum seekers like myself need legal assistance as the first step in getting a legal status, Legal representation would have cost me thousand of dollars. I believe the first step for building your life in a new country is to get a legal status, free legal representation is the key to building a migrant life.

Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States. Visit my website www.edafeokporo.com

#vote #asylumseekers #migration #immigrants #law

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Detain and Punish / The rise of the world’s largest incarceration system

October 23, 2018
Mr Carl Lindskoog, is an Historian of immigrant, race and rebellion, Author of Detain and Punish: Haitian Refugees and the Rise of the World’s Largest Immigration Detention System.
 
 
 
To Quote Carl: “From my research Detention is more about fear and anxiety. Race and discrimination play a role in the detention of Asians and African migrants, In 1982 during the Reagan administration policies were enacted to begin the building of more detention centers. This was due to the fear of losing their protected social class and xenophobia. While researching the Reagan administrations internal correspondence, It became evident that the true intention of the administration was to punish migrants and deter them from our borders, it was straight to the point. The most shocking fact was to what extent that the state was willing to go in order to fight activist and migrants movement.”
 
It was amazing to see the determination and focus of incarcerated people who stood up and fought for their freedom. There was extreme resistance by the people in these centers, they began going on hunger strikes inside the centers, meanwhile on the outside friends, family and activist were holding protest in support of the people detained. Constant uprising and protest by imprisoned or detained people showed their zeal to fight for their freedom.
 
Carl Lindskoog Detain and Punish: Haitian Refugees and the Rise of the World’s Largest Immigration Detention System his published by University of Florida Press a copy of the book can be gotten on amazon
 
Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States.
 
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Thinking about the history of immigrant New York

October 15, 2018

 

Rebecca Kobrin, Russell and Bettina Knapp Associate Professor of American Jewish History, Department of History, Columbia University, works in the field of immigration history, American Jewish History, and the history of the city of New York. She received her B.A. (1994) from Yale University and her Ph.D. (2002) from the University of Pennsylvania. Kobrin served has taught at Yale University, Brooklyn College and New York University.  Her book Jewish Bialystok and Its Diaspora: (Indiana University Press, 2010) was awarded numerous prizes.  She was awarded the Lenfest prize by Columbia for her outstanding teaching. In addition to editing several books on Jews and the American economy, her forthcoming book, A Credit to the Nation: Jewish Immigrant Bankers and American Finance, 1870-1930 (Harvard University Press, 2019), brings together scholarship in American immigration studies and American economic history as it explores the legal, cultural and communal impact of immigrant banking on American finance.

Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States.

www.edafeokporo.com

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The Ripple Effect of Compassion with Kevin Tuerff from 9′’11

October 8, 2018

 

Kevin Tuerff's, is a Compassion Ambassador, Social Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker and Marketing Consultant, board member and incoming Vice Chair of Charter for Compassion. He is a social entrepreneur with 25-years of experience in behavior change communications with local, state and federal government.  He co-founded and led Austin-based EnviroMedia, America’s first integrated marketing firm focused solely on environment and public health. Kevin Tuerff In 2002, founded an international kindness initiative called, “Pay It Forward 9/11.”

House of Anansi Press published his memoir, “Channel of Peace: Stranded in Gander on 9/11,” and is the inspiration for an onstage character “Kevin T” in the Tony® award winning musical COME FROM AWAY, and is featured in the new HBO documentary YOU ARE HERE.

Copy of kevin book http://channelofpeacebook.com/

Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States.

www.edafeokporo.com

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21st Century tools to help millennial lead better / SAFIOO-Be Better

September 28, 2018

My name is Toby Thompkins and I am the CEO and Co-Founder of SAFIOO. Well I have been many things, including a writer and now the Co-Founder of a Tech startup that will be based in Lisbon, Portugal. 

I wrote The Real Lives of Strong Black Women as a memoriam to my mother, the first Strong Black Woman I met in this lifetime.

How is technology impact human rights globally? Technology can bring human rights injustice to the cell phone of every human being and it can enable us to share the injustices we see and experience with everyone in the world in a matter of minutes…Without it there would be no Matthew Sheppard, no Treyvon Martin , no Michael Brown….

Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man's Asylum in the United States.

www.edafeokporo.com

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Importance of Cross-cultural communication in modern day work environment

September 18, 2018

Edafe meet Andrej the Executive Director of Cultural Bridge in Slovakia, He is a consultant living in Slovakia and Hungary. Andrej is the founder and managing director of Cultural Bridge (www.culturalbridge.sk), a consultancy helping individuals, teams and whole organizations to navigate the challenges of diversity and create an inclusive environment.

Andrej Started his career as a sales person moved into HR and multinational HR leader in Europe, travelled to Africa working on behalf of international tech companies in providing training for cross cultural leadership.

His vast experience in cross cultural communication does not eliminate the fact that all human has prejudice but as he said we have to learn how to recognize them and constructively learn ways to act in spite of our judgments. He shared a personal experience of a time he met a partner from Africa (Kenya) specifically who was the president of a non-profit and how he went back to educate himself of the cultural shock he received from meeting this new colleague.

He provided steps to use to become more self aware and reduce the friction faced in a new working enviroment.

Interviewed by Edafe Okporo, the Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States. www.edafeokporo.com