Richelieu and Mary Dennis | Meet the Liberian mother and son team who founded one of the largest black-owned cosmetic firms in America

By Ebimo Amungo

Richelieu Dennis and his mother, Mary, are one of the most unlikely success stories of African immigrant entrepreneurship. Forced by war to overstay in America and prompted by unemployment to start making soap and shea butter products at home. Dennis and his school roommate hawked their products on the streets of New York and eventually founded Sundial Brands. The company grew to become one of the largest immigrants owned cosmetic businesses in America and was eventually acquired by Unilever for $1.6billion, making Richelieu Dennis and his mother one of the richest African immigrants in America.

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African immigrants in the US poised to influence domestic policy

By Yaw Okyere Thompson | Quartz Africa

Before a crowded room of election-night supporters—many of whom looked like her—newly elected congresswoman Ilhan Omar described the historic occasion of her victory. “I stand here before you with many firsts behind my name: The first woman of color to represent our state in Congress; the first woman to wear a Hijab to represent us in Congress; the first refugee elected to Congress; and one of the first Muslims elected to Congress.” The Somali American politician paved the way to victory with the support of the Somali community in Minnesota.

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Nawal Denard | Ghanaian Immigrant entrepreneur draws on business support systems to brighten Detroit’s wardrobe

KATE ROFF | Model D Media

Nawal Denard began this year like most of us, with grand plans. The founder and owner of House of African Prints felt like she was just ramping up her clothing business when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The entrepreneur moved to the U.S. in 2008 from Ghana to study industrial engineering at Murray State University in Kentucky, and later at Wayne State University. But she had trouble equipping her personal wardrobe, discovering a lack of quality African fabric on Detroit’s clothing racks. In 2017 she started selling West African-inspired clothing, with the goal of making chic garments from her home country available here.

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African immigrant entrepreneurs thriving in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Ron Mukuria | One United Lancaster

Musa Mmugambi has just started the process of earning his brokerage license. Mmugambi, an immigrant from Kenya who is in his late 40s, is a part-time independent real estate agent at the Younger Realty Group. He ventured into this field as a part-time job three years ago. Mmugambi’s example shows the dynamic entrepreneurial spirit that immigrants and refugees bring to Lancaster County.

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Interview with Léonce Ndikumana | The Burundian professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts

by Léonce Ndikumana, C.J. Polychroniou | Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts.


Léonce Ndikumana has served as Director of Operational Policies and Director of Research at the African Development Bank, Chief of Macroeconomic Analysis at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and visiting Professor at the University of Cape Town. He is also an Honorary Professor of economics at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He has contributed to various areas of research and policy analysis on African countries, including the issues of external debt and capital flight, financial markets and growth, macroeconomic policies for growth and employment, and the economics of conflict and civil wars in Africa.

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Charles Rotimi | The NIH epidemiologist who worked to ensure genetic health and population genetics studies contain data from African populations.

By Anna Azvolinsky | The Scientist

Not long after starting a job as the head of a chemistry lab at a high school in Benin City, Nigeria, Charles Rotimi told his parents that he wanted to leave his native country to pursue a graduate degree abroad. He applied to a petrochemical engineering school in the UK and to the University of Mississippi for a health care administration degree, at the advice of a Nigerian friend working there. Rotimi chose the US school because of the cheaper tuition. His mother, who ran her own business, offered Rotimi $10,000, enough for a year in the States. “That was a huge amount of money for my family and a validation that she had confidence and trust in my succeeding,” says Rotimi, now director of the Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health at the US National Institutes of Health.  

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Aristide Gumyusenge | Rwandan appointed professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

By Sharon Kantengwa | The New Times

A US-based Rwandan researcher, Aristide Gumyusenge, has been appointed as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the department of materials science, making him the only black faculty member in the department.

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Ime Umanah | Nigerian-American elected first black woman president of Harvard Law Review

By The Conclave

The prestigious Harvard Law Review has elected its first black woman president in its 130-year history. She Ime Umanah, 24, daughter of a Nigerian immigrant.

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Consulate holds memorial for Nigerian COVID-19 victims in New York

By Tosin Omoniyi | Premium Times

The Consulate-General of Nigeria in New York on Saturday held a remembrance ceremony to honour the memory of Nigerians who died from COVID-19 within its jurisdiction.

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How Two Columbus Nonprofits Help New Americans

Immigrants and refugees from Africa often face a difficult transition, navigating disparate cultures and questions of identity.

By Chris Gaitten | Columbus Monthly

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