Sebastopol:Okili Update Good News & Celebration Feb 27
- Okili Update Good News & Celebration Feb 27
NOTE: A Reminder, or For those who don't know: On Monday April 20,
2009, Okili Nguebari, beloved friend of many for the past nearly 30
years, beloved husband of US Citizen Sabrina Krauss for 23 years,
father of two American children ages 22 and 18, business owner, non
profit founder of The United Africa Club, home owner, and tax payer,
was abducted by the Dept. of Homeland Security, Immigration Customs and
Enforcement (ICE) unit, in front of his home by six ICE Agents
traveling from SF in 3 unmarked cars (talk about waste of tax dollars).
ICE arrested him for a 26 year old outstanding order of deportation
from an over stay of Student Visa. For the past 22 years his wife and
he have been trying to make him legal, and for at least 15 of those
years he was temporarily legal through a pending Amnesty Program. Just
3 weeks prior to his being abducted he had met with an Immigration
attorney and was set to start new appeals on his case in June. The ICE
agents wasted no time in flying him by 2:00 AM April 21 to a remote,
5000 bed, privately owned (Correction Corporation of America)
Immigration Detention Facility in Eloy, AZ where he was held 3 long
Thanks to the OVERWHELMING support from the many communities whose
lives have been touched by Okili, people came together when his wife
called for help and the first emergency fundraiser, "Free Okili",
was held at the Sebastopol Community Center on May 22, 2009. He was
released from the detention facility, as of July 18, thanks to the many
prayers, community pressure, the help of Congressional persons, and
because he appeared to be a qualified member of a class action law suit
against the US regarding the Amnesty Program he'd initially been
denied over 10 years ago (NWIRP vs. USCIS). When he was released there
was another VERY supportive "He's Home" fundraiser on Aug. 28,
2009, where Okili was the star of the party.
After the second fundraiser, his lawyer, Florence M. Ndedi, applied
for the Class Action Law Suit, NWIRP vs. USCIS, which gave him a
temporary work permit while it was pending. He also filed an
application for a Relative Alien, just incase the Amnesty was denied; IF
it was denied, plan B was to re-open the old case and the entire can of
worms regarding his overstay of student visa and a failed marriage of
26 years ago; the one that prevented he and his wife from ever
applying for his changed immigration status through their marriage
without the threat of deportation. His family was prepared go before
an immigration judge to attempt to over throw that old case.
BUT MIRACLES DO HAPPEN! The last Okili update let people know that
there had been a "good" interview with an immigration official
regarding his Amnesty Application, and that now we just needed to wait
and see. VOILA!!
AS SIMPLE AS "VOILA"?
VOILA! As of today, Okili has been officially accepted into the
Amnesty Class Action Law suit, giving him his actual Temporary Resident
Visa (this is different and more than the temporary work permit
he'd gotten a couple months ago). He will be eligible, within
another 18 months, to apply for and receive his Permanent Resident
Green Card or Citizenship (his choice). Either way, he is finally
free to leave the country, free to see his family abroad, something he
could never do for the last nearly 30 years; because if he left the
country, he would not be allowed back in. And, we no longer have to
consider opening another lengthy lawsuit and filing a waver regarding
applying for legal status through our marriage, something we feared
could drag things out for years.
Because he feels so strongly about giving back to the community and
others; reaching out to those others who need help; he has started
working on The Okili Foundation. The main goal of this foundation is to
fight for those other families who are left behind, struggling in the
same situation as our family has. There is a website, under
construction (some links make sense, others do not), in which we also
could us some volunteer help to get it up and running properly. The
site can be viewed at http://www.okilifoundation.com/
CELEBRATION AND FUN RAISER FEBRUARY 27, 2010
We will be having an ecstatic, wild, and super fun event, while at the
same time providing support to a few causes. First and foremost, this
is a 3'd and final, "3 time's a charm", Fundraiser for
Okili Nguebari's remaining legal fees. Secondly, there will be
funds raised for Immigration Reform in America. Next, we are looking
for a local representative of an organization that is accepting
tangible items for our brothers and sisters hurting in Haiti. And,
finally, there will be a shout out for support to The Sebastopol
Community Center, a thriving community venue we ALL depend on, who is
now hurting financially as well.
CELEBRATE! Come and party with Okili on Feb 27, 2010. Here we have a
diamond in the rough, finally some good news amidst the darkness, the
coming of the light etc., after 30 years Okili is FINALLY FREE! There
will be the famous African inspired dinner available (including Peanut
sauce with greens ), a silent auction, and incredible live rhythmic
dance music with sound provided by Archer Audio: Come dance live to,
Onye Onyemaechi of Nigeria with Mendozone, Amadou Camara of Guinea,
Okili Nguebari and Massengo Constant of Congo, Midnight Sun, Kim
Atkinson and Carnival Spirit, Greg Trimble and friends, Jalahn Travis,
Olembe Nguebari and more. Bring your drum for the large drum circle
lead by Drummunity at the end of the evening. Also we will blessed
with some words of prophetic wisdom by Native American Shamaness,
ChoQosh Au Ho Oh.
WHERE: SEBASTOPOL COMMUNITY CENTER
390 Morris St., Sebastopol
TIME: 6 PM (dinner) - 12 AM
BRING YOUR DRUM AND YOUR DANCING FEET
SUGGESTED DONATION: $20. ($30 w/ dinner or dinner is only $10!)
(more scrumptious details on dinner in future posting, or just ask)
Pssst: Feb. 27 also happens to be Okili's Birthday it was the
date available at the center .
OKILI'S LEGAL FEES: As we raise the Fun waves and energy in the
evening, we will also be raising much needed funds. The main purpose of
this fundraiser is to pay the final balance of legal fees to
Okili's fantastic and extremely patient Attorney, Ms. Florence M.
Ndedi. She has patiently been standing by, after having completed
successfully with the Amnesty portion of our case, but still has agreed
upon funds due her. Although there were funds raised in the last two
events, some initial funds went to lawyers that were unable to help us
and did charge substantial fees. Thank goodness we were lead to the
right person who helped us honestly and professionally, at last.
REFORM IMMIGRATION FOR AMERICA CAMPAIGN
In addition to Okili's legal fees being raised, partial proceeds
will also go to The Committee for Immigrant Rights of Sonoma County
(http://www.immigrantrightssonoma.org/) which is a part of the Reform
Immigration for America Campaign
(http://reformimmigrationforamerica.org/ ) ; this is a campaign that is
pushing for legislation to be passed in 2010 that aims to keep families
united. Our family is not the only family that has struggled with the
lack of laws, or non-laws that exist in our immigration system. We are
just fortunate that this community has come together for us. Now
we'd like to start paying it forward to the greater community at
large who has not had the same support we have been blessed with.
LOOKING FOR LOCAL REP FROM RELIABLE HAITI RELIEF ORG.
We are not sure this can be pulled off, but we would like to have a
place for tangible, good quality (ONLY) items such as tents, closed toe
shoes, bedding or sleeping bags, and medical supplies to be collected at
our event. First off we need to find a rep from a reliable
organization that will set up a barrel or box clearly marked that
it's "Haitian Earth Quake Relief Donations" and to manage
stuff as it comes in. No big truck loads of junk. Also we will need a
rep or reps to take the stuff with them when they go as we will have A
LOT to get out of the Community Center by no later than 1:00 AM. We
will not be able to collect moneys at this event. We have started
talking with some people about this, but it needs to be firmed up right
away, if it is to be publicized. We, like everyone else wants to do
something for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
SEBASTOPOL COMMUNITY CENTER CO-SPONSORS & NEEDS SPONSORS
Our wonderful and local Sebastopol Community Center needs support too!
As the economy has been in such a recessive mood, the SCC has been
increasingly losing their regular yearly sponsors that have been a
mainstay to the center. According to Rob Cary, Director of the SCC,
the sponsorships and rentals are the primary ways they receive income,
and not the little every day classes that are held there providing the
needed community wholeness.
Being as we too are truly short on funds, the Sebastopol Community
Center has GRACIOUSLY offered to co-sponsor this event. They will be
receiving their rental fees at the end of the evening vs. requiring us
to pay up front. In giving back to the Community Center, we will be
helping them to collect email addresses for their data base, in the
hopes of stimulating interest in new Sponsors. In my experience, this
Community Center is like none other in this county. To directly
contact them on the web go to: http://www.seb.org/index.html
<http://www.seb.org/index.html> or call 707-823-1511.
UNITED AFRICA CLUB CO-SPONSORS
The United Africa Cub, founded by Okili Nguebari, will also be
co-sponsoring this event in the form of providing the wine and beer
sales license and needed tax deductions to the various businesses who
are donating foods and beverages to this cause.
HELP WE NOW NEED FROM THE COMMUNITY
The community has more than helped us get to where we are, and we need
you to not forget us, more than ever now. Please open your hearts and
let us in. It is through your loving support that will keep us paying
it forward, and what makes the world go round.
VOLUNTEERS - Contact Sabrina Krauss via email: sabrinajk@...
-Kitchen help (food prep, serving, and cleaning we also really
need people who love to -cook chicken on an oven grill or BBQ)
-Set up help
-Tear Down / Clean Up Help (We MUST be OUT COMPLETELY by 1:00 AM
-And maybe a few other things
AUCTION ITEMS - Contact Miriam Gaon via email: rdytretire@...
We will be having a Silent Auction in the little side room again, and
Miriam is the angel who is helping us with it this time. Ideas for
items to donate include items of good quality / beauty, Certificates
for services, classes, restaurants, etc., Big ticket items like
vacations, special events, etc. For an in-depth list of ideas go here:
FINANCIAL DONATIONS go to
donate directly to our PayPal Account. Or email: sabrinak@...
<mailto:sabrinak@...> for an address to snail mail to.
PAY THE MUSICIANS
At this event we hope to be able to offer some financial compensation
to the musicians, although they all know we do not currently have the
financial backing to offer a "Guarantee". We especially feel
strongly about offering at least some symbolic amount, and in these
financially trying times, we can only ask of a greater collective
consciousness for these gifts. If you feel especially inclined to offer
a donation toward the musicians, please email sabrinak@...
<mailto:sabrinak@...> so that we can properly allocate the
In the past we have had some lovely decorations loaned to us. We have
the cool African Backdrop painted by Sandor Diabankouezi, but any other
wall hangings, Greenery, that can be borrowed, would be awesome.
Sabrina and Okili
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