Image - Edafe Okporo

Past Event

Queer/Migrant/Afroindigenous: Leaving Nigeria to Survive

This program has been canceled.

Edafe Okporo is a global gay rights and immigration activist based in the United States. But he almost didn't survive his 26th birthday, when a mob threatened his life in Abuja, Nigeria's capital. The mob had learned his secret: he is a gay man. He fled to New York on a one-way airplane ticket. America had always been described to him as a land of freedom and opportunity, but, arriving just days before the 2016 presidential election, Okporo entered six months in immigration detention. He eventually worked his way through the harsh and often confusing U.S. immigration and legal system before he was finally granted asylum.

Join us for an online-only discussion with Okporo about his experiences growing up gay in Nigeria, his flight to the United States, the immigration system, and making a new life for himself as a Black, gay immigrant. What can be done to make the experience better for people coming here to contribute to our country? How can the United States do a better job protecting the persecuted? Don't miss our in-depth discussion.

About the Speaker

Edafe Okporo was born in Warri, Nigeria. He migrated to the United States in 2016 as an asylum seeker and is now a refugee of the United States. Edafe is a global gay rights activist, the founder of Refuge America Inc, and one of the country’s most visible voices on the issue of displacement, leading an organization with a vision to “strengthen as a place of welcome for LGBTQ displaced people.” A graduate of Enugu State University and the school of Business at NYU, he currently lives in New York City. Edafe is among the inaugural winners of the David Prize, which honors individuals with bold visions for creating a better and brighter New York City. He is also a Logo 30 Honoree. 


This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Bernard Osher Foundation

See more  Michelle Meow Show programs at The Commonwealth Club of California.

Photo courtesy Simon & Shuster.

August 11, 2022

The Commonwealth Club of California
United States

Image - Edafe Okporo

Edafe Okporo

Author, Asylum: A Memoir and Manifesto

Image - Michelle Meow

Michelle Meow

Producer and Host, "The Michelle Meow Show," KBCW TV and Podcast; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors—Co-host

Image - John Zipperer

John Zipperer

Producer and Host, Week to Week Political Roundtable; Vice President of Media & Editorial, The Commonwealth Club of California—Co-host


12:30–1:30 p.m. program
(all times PDT)


$27 with book