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    Sabrina's Avatar

    Okili Update - Details - Good News & Celebration Coming Up


    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 months.

    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!!

    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

    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. 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.

    390 Morris St., Sebastopol
    TIME: 6 PM (dinner) - 12 AM
    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.

    In addition to Okili’s legal fees being raised, partial proceeds will also go to The Committee for Immigrant Rights of Sonoma County (Home Page) which is a part of the Reform Immigration for America Campaign (Reform Immigration For America ) ; 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.

    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: Sebastopol Community Center or call 707-823-1511.

    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.

    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: [email protected]
    -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: [email protected]
    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 ChipIn: Okili Nguebari legal fund to donate directly to our PayPal Account. Or email: [email protected] for an address to snail mail to.

    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 [email protected] so that we can properly allocate the funds.


    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
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

    Last edited by Sabrina; 02-04-2010 at 04:04 PM. Reason: We needed to remove Choqosh from the list of entertainers, as she cannot commit to being there....
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