As Nigerians around the world celebrate October 1st as Independence Day, Mayor Muriel Bowser officially proclaims Saturday, October 1, 2022, as “Nigerian-American Day” in Washington, D.C.
The proclamation reads:
“ WHEREAS, the first of October marks the 62 anniversary of Nigeria’s independence; and
“WHEREAS, the District of Columbia has one of the largest Nigerian immigrant populations in our nation, and DC residents salute the contributions of Nigerian Americans as civic leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs, and
WHEREAS, Nigerian music and art, particularly Afrobeats and Nollywood, enrich the cultural economy and strengthen cultural ties in Our nation’s capital; and
“WHEREAS, the Nigerian Center, an immigrant and culrural center in Washington, DC, provides a platform for the African diaspora to learn about their Nigerian heritage and expands pathways for recently arrived Nigerian immigrants to become Nigerian Americans; and
“WHEREAS, the city’s Office on African Affairs works with the Nigerian Center to foster economic inclusion and advancement and to promote Nigerian culture
NOW, THEREFORE, I, THE MAYOR OF WASHINGTON, DC do hereby proclaim OCTOBER 1, 2022, as “NIGERIAN AMERICAN DAY in Washington, DC.”
In recognition of the significance of this day, The Nigerian Center is opening a walk-in immigration clinic in Washington, D.C. The clinic is for community members who require legal assistance regarding immigration and naturalization.
The Nigerian Center and several community organizations serving the Nigerian American community will announce the opening during a press conference at the center on October 4, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. Some speakers include Gbenga Ogunjimi, Founder, The Nigerian Center, Dr. Oye Owolewa, U.S. Representative, Washington, D.C., Aly Kaba, Director, DC Mayor's Office on African Affairs, Many Wellz, Nigerian American artist and producer, and Chris Paul, Offensive Tackle, Washington Commanders.
Across the US, immigrant community centers have been a proven strategy for financial inclusion for newly migrated individuals. Until recently the Nigerian community hasn’t had a community center. I founded The Nigerian Center to provide new Nigerian immigrants with the necessary tools and guidance to navigate the systemic complexities of their new country, acquire the necessary tools for success, and ultimately accelerate their path towards self-sufficiency on their journey to becoming Nigerian Americans, stated Gbenga Ogunjimi, Founder and CEO of The Nigerian Center.
I'm proud to be able to witness the creation of the Nigerian Center, where folks will be able to receive critical legal aid and resources. I'm also excited about the opportunity to showcase the Nigerian American culture on a greater level. Lastly, as US Representative, I'm honored to know that the very first Nigerian Center is located in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., stated Dr. Oye Owolewa, US Representative, District of Columbia.
The Nigerian Center is the first immigrant and cultural center for the Nigerian diaspora. Located in the nation’s capital, the Nigerian Center was established to provide social justice opportunities for members of the Nigerian American community in the United States. Additionally, the center supports newly arrived immigrants with culturally sensitive transition and self-sufficiency opportunities. While we are called the Nigerian Center, we are happy to serve all immigrant communities in the United States.