Meet the AFJN Staff

dsc_0185Fr. Aniedi Okure is a member of the Order of Preachers; Dominican Province of St. Joseph the Worker (Nigeria-Ghana). He has served in various pastoral capacities in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the United States, including associate director of campus ministry at the University of Ife, associate at St. Ambrose Parish Boston, St. James Church Davis and chaplain at Geisinger Hospital Danville, Pennsylvania. From 1995 to 2001, he was the Coordinator of Ethnic Ministries at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and served as co-chair for the breakout sessions of Encuentro 2000, the millennium celebration of diversity in the church. While at USCCB, he brought together African priests and religious to form the coalition of African Conference of Catholic Clergy and Religious in the United States (http://acccrus.org).

Since 2003, he has contributed to research projects at Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research (http://ipr.cua.edu) including the study of the movements of international priests and religious and their impact on local church communities, African and Caribbean-born in the United States, and cultural diversity in the Church. With Dean Hoge, he co-authored International Priests in America: Challenges and Opportunities (2006), and African and Caribbean Catholics in the United States(2008). He is a frequently invited speaker on international priests and cultural diversity. He studied at the Dominican Institute Ibadan, Les Facultés Catholique Kinshasa; University of Ife; Boston University and The Catholic University of America. He has taught at The Catholic University of America, The George Washington University, the University of California Davis and the University of Ife, Nigeria. He holds a doctorate degree in sociology from the Catholic University of America.  Email:director@afjn.org

afjn-logoBahati Jacques joined Africa Faith and Justice Network in 2007. Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he witnessed the invasion of the DRC by Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda from 1996-2000 and worked in the field of post-war relief. He co-founded the Association des vieullards abondonnes in french Association for Abandoned Elderly (AVA) which addresses the increased number of elderly people begging on the streets of Bukavu during the conflict in DRC. He holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy (2000) from La Ruzizi in Bukavu/DRC, a Masters of Divinity (2006) and Masters of Arts in Ethics (2007) from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

Since joining AFJN, he has written and spoken in different circles across the US on the socio-political issues of the DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi.  He is the author of Tribe not an Idea, but a True Identity, a piece published in Recherches Africaines. L’Afrique et son vecu vol. 21-22, and co-author of the paper Promoting International Support for Community-Based Justice Mechanisms in Post-Conflict Burundi and Uganda (2009).  Policy papers of his include Two Rebel groups, One solution (2008) and Evaluating peace and stability in DRC (2009). He has been a guest of Africa Now, a radio program of WPFW in Washington DC and Voice of America TV.  His work at AFJN is informed by his passion for social justice as well his personal commitment to making this world a better place for all people.  Email: afjnpolicyanalyst@gmail.com

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fr. Barthelemy Bazemo is a member of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa. Born in Ivory Coast and raised in Burkina Faso, West Africa, he has training in peace support operations,
conflict studies, international politics, human rights and diplomacy. Fr. Bazemo will serve as policy analyst and assist the Executive Director in AFJN-SECAM (Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar) relations. He spent many years in Eastern Africa, mostly in Kenya and Tanzania studying and engaging in active urban apostolate, centered on nurturing Christian values, youth animation, developmental activities, and dialogue with other faiths. He was an active member of Christian Professionals of Tanzania (CPT), a forum for advocacy, human rights and social ethics in the public square; and Wabunge Think-Tank for specific issues related to constitutional debate, the rule of law, good governance, and peacebuilding. Fr. Bazemo studied at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Tangaza College, Hekima College Nairobi Kenya, and Centre Supérieur de Philosophie, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In 2010 he studied at the National Peace Academy (NPA) at Wilmington College. He holds a Masters degree in Peace Studies and International Relations, a STB in Sacred Theology, a graduate diploma in Communications and Certificate in PPI (Peacebuilding Peacelearning Intensive); He speaks and writes French, English and Swahili.  Email: bazemo@afjn.org

Lauren Rogers comes to AFJN shortly after graduating with her Masters degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University. She first became interested in Africa and issues of just governance in Africa following a 2009 mission trip to Malawi. Originally from Louisiana, Lauren attended Centenary College of Louisiana for her undergraduate studies where she graduated Summa cum Laude with Departmental Honors in Religious Studies. In addition, Lauren is an ordained Deacon in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and worked at First Presbyterian Church of Shreveport, Louisiana, for two years in the capacity of Youth Director and Outreach Coordinator before moving to Washington, D.C. Lauren served as a Research Assistant for Georgetown University while attending her Masters program and more recently worked for PeacePlayers International. Lauren’s areas of interest include religious violence, interfaith relations, Islamophobia, and human rights.  Email: rogers@afjn.org

EuchairaSr. Eucharia Madueke is a Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN), Nigerian Province. She has expertise in social analysis, grassroots mobilization and organization. Prior to AFJN, Eucharia was with NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby as an organization associate. She also served as a high school teacher, formator, and provincial of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Nigerian Province. Eucharia holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from The Catholic University of America and a PhD in development and public policy from the department of African Studies, Howard University, Washington DC.  Email: eucharia@afjn.org

dsc_0961Lucy Huffman is a member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps which provides the opportunity to serve the needs of the poor, to work for a more just society, and to grow deeper in Christian faith by reflecting and praying in the Ignatian tradition. She also volunteers at S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat) in Washington, DC, and at Catholic Charities in Wilmington, DE. Prior to her volunteer experiences she worked for the US Treasury Department and a federal banking regulator as an economist and analyst and taught finance at City University of New York. She holds a Ph.D. in Business and Finance from City University of New York and a M.Accy in accounting from the George Washington University.

dsc_0962Social Justice has been a driving force in Andi’s life since her childhood growing up in Hermitage, TN, participating in her first protest when she was only 8-years old. Andi has always been empowered by her deep faith in God and seeks to do His will through service. Since 1980 she has served as the Executive Director of Anacostia Scholarship Fund (ASF), a small nonprofit organization in Washington, DC, that supports the educational aspirations of underserved families in Wards 7 and 8. Andi believes education is the only true path to self-sufficiency for underserved families, and through her efforts over 35,000 young people have gained higher education and vocational training that has moved them off the Welfare Roles of the District of Columbia for good. To remain spiritually grounded Andi serves as a Canter and Deacon for her parish, Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Southeast Washington, DC. She is currently matriculating at Catholic University of America in a combined program with the Columbus School of Law and the National Catholic School of Social Service. Her goal is to earn a PhD, JD in the Spring of 2020 with the help of her Heavenly Father. After graduation and armed with these new tools Andi will continue to fight for social justice for the underserved in this country and around the world.

dsc_0969Hubert Valery Tchetche Mabou was born and raised in a Catholic family in Cameroon, West Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in African Philosophy (2003- Paul VI Major Seminary, Bafoussam-Cameroon), a Master of Divinity (2009- Catholic Theological Union, Chicago-USA), a Master of Arts in Theology (2010- Catholic Theological Union, Chicago-USA), and a Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Relations (2015- Seton Hall University, New Jersey-USA).

Hubert Valery’s desire to intern at AFJN originates from a strong commitment to promote justice and peace initiatives in Africa while empowering the underserved and powerless. His field of interest include – but are not limited to – conflict resolution, US foreign policy, humanitarian and human rights issues. His previous research projects include an analysis of South Sudan’s civil wars and the socio-economic and political options for a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis. He also worked on a theology of mission in Cameroon in view of addressing the country’s socio-economic and political injustices.

Hubert Valery currently volunteers with the American Red Cross (Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) in Silver Spring, MD. He facilitates emergency communications, nationally and internationally, between service members and families, looks for appropriate resources to address SAF’s concerns, and maintains the SAF database. He previously volunteered with the International Rescue Committee (Family Mentor Program) in Baltimore where he helped develop resettlement strategies aimed at refugees’ self-sufficiency and understanding of the US social and cultural context. Hubert also interned at Human Rights Watch in New York where he consistently provided daily reports on human rights and humanitarian issues in conflict-affected zones. Hubert Valery worked for refugees’ rights and conflict-affected populations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

dsc_0957Mike grew up in Brooklyn New York. His parents were Irish immigrants. He went to Marquette University for graduate studies, and there he met Rita. They married and went to Brazil to work with Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Their two daughters were born in Brazil (two sons came later). Mike was later director of CRS programs in Central America.
Mike organized a “Model Cities” anti-poverty program in Binghamton, New York. He later worked with the International City Management Association, where he was director of ICMA’s programs of technical assistance to local governments around the world. He has an MA in sociology from NYU, and did doctoral studies at Louvain University in Belgium.

dsc_0959Rita grew up in a small town near Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania. Her mother and grandparents were immigrants from Slovakia. She graduated from Misericordia College in Pennsylvania and then spent a year as a schoolteacher in Alabama. She did graduate studies at Marquette University where she met Mike. They married and moved to Brazil for three years of work with Catholic Relief Services.

 

Board of Directors

as of November 2016

 

 

Therese Wetta, ASC, Chair
Wichita, KS

John Converset, MCCJ, Vice Chair
Newark, NJ

Sally Slyngstad, SNJM, Treasurer
Castro Valley, CA

Stephen Price, Secretary
Takoma Park, MD

Charles Brown, SCJ
Franklin, WI

Maura Browne, SND
Washington, DC

Julien Cormier, MAfr
Washington, DC

Donald McCrabb
Washington, DC

 

Roberta Miller, OP
Columbus, OH

Rocco Puopolo, SX
Holliston, MA

Annie O’Brien

Washington, DC

David Schwinghamer, MM
Washington, DC

Charles “Kip” Stander, SM
Dayton, OH

Mary Ann Tregoning, MMS
Camden, NJ

Tom Tunney, CSSp
Arlington, VA

Edward Tetteh, SVD
Trenton, NJ