Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-12-12
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Chicago LGBT Asylum Support Program holds Coming Out Day event
2014-09-30

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


CHICAGO — In an effort to increase housing for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer persons fleeing persecution in their homelands, the Chicago LGBT Asylum Support Program ( CLASP ) is holding a fundraiser on National Coming Out Day, Saturday, October 11, 5-8pm.

"A Taste of Africa" will feature menu items prepared by several of the men currently seeking asylum, including Nigerian favorites egusi and pounded yam, goat pepper soup, beef jollof rice, african fried rice, and bean cakes.

Underwritten by donors from Broadway United Methodist Church and the City Winery, the event will also offer an opportunity for people to hear the stories of asylum seekers in Chicago.

"Asylum seekers are often vulnerable," says Nigerian Kachi, "because most arrive in the U.S. without any protected legal status." Unlike refugees whose status is named before they leave their homeland, asylum-seekers do not have governmental legal or resettlement support once they arrive in the U.S. John Ademola Adewoye, co-founder of CLASP and director of the Center for Integration and Courageous Living ( CiCL ) — which provides direct services to the asylum-seekers — is host to those who've found a way to flee danger. Adewoye has opened his home to many who are seeking a pathway to safety and freedom. "Many of those who arrive here are traumatized," he says, "and they may experience depression or PTSD."

A faith-based organization that is part of LGBT-Faith & Asylum Network ( LGBT-FAN ), CLASP seeks to mobilize open and affirming and welcoming congregations to support asylum-seekers as they arrive in the U.S. and experience the waiting period between arrival and asylum status, which can take up to 18 months.

"We hope to change the narrative about God, too," says Rev. Lois McCullen Parr, Co-Pastor at Broadway United Methodist Church and co-founder of CLASP. Parr says that many of those seeking asylum have been told that their same-gender love or transgender identity is immoral and will be condemned by God. "Of course we've faced that hatred in the U.S., too," says Parr, "but the consequences in countries like Nigeria and Uganda where threats, jail time, or even the death penalty are sanctioned by law, makes our work even more critical."

Broadway member and CLASP volunteer MJ Grimshaw says that as summer weddings have celebrated full Marriage Equality in Illinois, the LGBTQ community's awareness of global needs is on the rise: "while we rejoice in marriage equality, at the same time we realize our privilege when we hear of and see images from LGBTQ persons being persecuted a continent away," she says. CLASP began earlier this year as faith leaders, former asylum-seekers who have achieved asylum, and current asylum-seekers came together to network with faith communities for direct services support and with legal services for assistance. Both Justice For Our Neighbors ( J-FON ) of the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, and National Immigrant Justice Center ( NIJC ) through Heartland Alliance have provided pro-bono legal support services to those seeking asylum.

CLASP co-founder Dennis Ojiyoma Akpona considers himself a "graduate" of the CiCL, as he achieved asylum in April and by August was able obtain a work permit, a job, and his own apartment.

"Meeting basic needs — housing, food, clothing, transportation, and services for healthcare or psychological care — has become the focus of CLASP," says Akpona. We are trying to provide a net of support in the in-between-time, he says, we've been supported in fundraising efforts by local congregations, individuals, and the Gay Liberation Network. "As I moved into my own apartment, another person moved in the CiCL," he says, "so the need for additional housing continues to grow." For more information or an invitation to the "Taste of Africa" evening, please email Rev. Lois McCullen Parr at gizhilois@yahoo.com; or give directly at www.broadwaychurchchicago.com/give .


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.