Obama's Aunt Coming to Essex County College

Onyango grew up with future president's father.

The aunt of President Barack Obama, Zeituni Onyango, will visit the Newark campus of Essex County College, 303 University Ave., Newark, on March 6, from 7 to 9 p.m. The free program, sponsored by the college’s Humanities Division, will be held in Siegler Hall. 

Onyango’s talk will focus on her personal experiences with domestic abuse, immigration matters, homelessness, racism and race relations, the struggle to empower women, and growing up in the home of the father of President Obama in Kenya.

Onyango will also discuss her book, Tears of Abuse. She is referenced as “Auntie Zeituni” in the president's memoir Dreams from My Father.

“Her message is one of educational empowerment for young people,” said Mikal N. Nash, a history instructor and coordinator of ECC’s Associate degree Africana Studies Program. “She feels very strong about literacy in Africa and the importance of bringing resources to all the young people of Africa, both female and male.”

Onyango’s visit to ECC is two days before International Women’s Day, which has been observed since 1911 throughout the world.  The United Nations also observes International Women’s Day. This year’s UN theme is “A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women.” 

The Director of Youth and Children's Ministries at the First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell will be among those taking part in the 2013 gathering of the global Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations headquarters in New York City next month.


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