African Law Center’s mission is to defend the rights of African refugees and immigrants within countries where they seek refuge and opportunities.
We achieve our mission by providing culturally appropriate and linguistically accessible services through direct legal aid, community legal empowerment, case management, strategic litigation, and policy advocacy.
African Law Center, Inc. was founded on May 30, 2013, by a group of Africans living in the United States to address the shortage of competent legal service providers addressing the needs of African refugees and immigrants living in the United States. This shortage or lack of interest to serve Africans was based on claims that Africans were hard to reach and difficult to effectively communicate with because of language barriers. From our inception, we set out to provide culturally appropriate and linguistically accessible service breaking down barriers that kept African refugees and immigrants from exercising their civil and human rights.
By tackling common stereotypes and discrimination such as property owners inquiring about their ethnicity, making derogatory remarks about Africans, then refusing to lease housing; being denied access to healthcare and health insurance; children denied educational services; or people providing misleading information that appears to purposefully frustrate Africans seeking legal status they are otherwise qualified for; and neighbors calling the police to report feeling scared that a group of Africans was visiting next door, to name a few; we empower the African refugee and immigrant to once again take control of their lives as they go about making informed decisions about their wellbeing.
Today, our work helps African refugees and immigrants assert their rights to live safely without harassment and fear, obtain decent shelter and food, move freely, access employment, education and healthcare, and enjoy equal protection under the law. We are able to do this because unlike other service providers, we are culturally relatable and connect with our clients and community on a more personal level, to make them more receptive to our advice and counsel because we are the only organization in the United States exclusively protecting their rights run by Africans who share some of their daily experience.