AFJN Expert: Aniedi Okure

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Rev. Aniedi Okure, OP, PhD
Executive Director
Africa Faith and Justice Network

Aniedi Okure is a Catholic priest and a member of the Order of Preachers (OP). Since 2011, he has served as the Executive Director of Africa Faith & Justice Network (AFJN). Under his leadership AFJN has expanded its personnel and programs; from a Washington focus on United States-Africa policy to building coalitions of Africans across the continent and engaging them in social analysis and practical advocacy for systemic change in their communities. These initiatives include the formation and capacity building of civil society organizations based on the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching, and mobilizing them to promote just governance and the common good, cultivate a culture of transparency and accountability, and promote human right and human solidarity in their communities. He engages issues of identity and culture in post colonial states and ways structures impact human behavior and relationships.

He is also a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research ( IPR ) at The Catholic University of America, serves on the Board of Directors of Jubilee USA , and coordinates the Africa Track of the Ecumenical Advocacy Days ( EAD ) Conference. Previously, he served in the migration and refugees office, providing intercultural competency seminars for immigrant professionals. For about seven years, he served as Coordinator of Ethnic Ministries at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). While at USCCB, he brought together African priests and religious to form the African Conference of Catholic Clergy and Religious in the United States ( ACCCRUS ).

Aniedi is a social analyst and a coalition builder. In 2015, he brought together representatives of 133 groups to Limuru Kenya for the Continental Conference on Land Grab and Just Governance in Africa from which have resulted several sub groups tackling land issues in Africa. He initiated AFJN’s Women Empowerment Project that brings together African Women Religious to tackle violence against women and children, human trafficking and exploitation of women and girls. These coalitions have worked with government officials, civil, traditional and religious leaders to affect policy changes in their communities, including the introduction and passage on anti-trafficking law in Edo State and the establishment of family courts in Enugu State Nigeria.

In addition, he has led the formation of AFJN chapters in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania, and several others in the formation process. More recently, he has brought together numerous groups in Africa and in the diasporas to form the Coalition for Africa’s Liberation and Transformation (CALAR). CALAR aims to mobilize the grassroots to urge African leaders to look inward and mobilize the talents of African and the abundant resources within the continent for the betterment of the African people.

He pastoral ministry experience in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and the United States include youth chaplain, associate director of campus ministry at the University of Ife, Chaplain to the National Federation of Catholic Students, associate at St. Ambrose Parish Boston Massachusetts, St. James Church Davis California, chaplain to the Sisters of Ss Cyril and Methodius Danville and chaplain at Geisinger Medical Center Danville, Pennsylvania. He served as Vicar Provincial of his Dominican Province for North America and the Caribbean; taught courses in the area of religion, culture and society, class and inequality in society, intercultural communication, Africa in global perspective and theories of society at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, University of California Davis, The George Washington University, The Catholic University of America and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

He studied at the Dominican Institute Ibadan, Les Facultés Catholique Kinshasa, University of Ife, Boston University and The Catholic University of America. Aniedi holds master’s degree in religion and culture, a master of Social Science with concentration on social and political movement organizations, and a doctorate in sociology. He is author and co-author of several works including International Priests in America (2006), African and Caribbean Catholics in the United States (2008) and “Intercultural Competencies” in F. Ortiz and G McGlone, ed. (2015), To Be One in Christ: Intercultural Formation and Ministry. He is a frequent guest at media channels including Voice of America (VOA) TV Program, Straight Talk Africa, and Channels TV.

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