UIU seeks to be a solution by promoting cultural pride in the diaspora by creating programming that focuses on the preservation of the Igbo language and culture.
Umu Igbo Unite means children of Igboland unite. The Igbo people are one of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria with approximately 32 million people. A 2006 UNESCO study predicted that the Igbo language will become extinct within 50 years. Factors such as preference for the English language in post – colonial Nigeria and a reluctance from parents in the diaspora to teach their children the language are some of many reasons explaining the decline. As a result, Igbo is currently listed as an endangered language.
Connecting the Diaspora
UIU is building a community of people that identify with their Igbo heritage. UIU also aspires to be a bridge between the continent and the Americas, serving a source of knowledge for Igbo culture, language and community in the diaspora.
The Igbo people have both past and present ties in the diaspora. In the recent decades, Igbo migration patterns have created large communities in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. Specifically in the United States, the increasing presence of Nigerians has not gone unnoticed due to their hypervisibility in academia and medicine and branching into other sectors such as athletics, entrepreneurship, and media. Historically during the period of the transatlantic slave trade, a large percentage of slaves were taken from Igboland and dispersed to colonies such as Jamaica, Cuba, Saint – Domingue, Barbados, the United States, Belize, and Trinidad and Tobago. In fact, a recent study reports that 60% of African – Americans have at least one Igbo ancestor.
Community Development and Entrepreneuership
UIU is a proponent of the advancement of Igbo people in the diaspora, Nigeria, and the larger continent of Africa.
UIU aspires to utilize the rich social capital of Igbos in the diaspora and build a network of individuals with a passion seeing transformation in their communities. Whether it’s in the diaspora or on the continent, UIU wants to create a platform for Igbos to make their ideas work. UIU recognizes that a strong Igbo community benefits the black community and also benefits Nigeria.
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