BAJI’s Staff

Gerald Lenoir, BAJI Co-Director

Gerald Lenoir has been a leader in progressive social movements for over 30 years.  He is currently a Co-Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and a board member of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.  He is also a co-founder of the Priority Africa Network, which advocates for progressive U.S. policies toward Africa and organizes dialogues between African Americans and black immigrants

Lenoir is the former executive director of the Black Coalition on AIDS in San Francisco and co-founder/board chair of the HIV Education and Prevention Project of Alameda County in Oakland, Calif.  He was a member of the editorial board of War Times, an anti-Iraq War newspaper and a long time leader in the racial justice and anti-apartheid movements in the United States.  He has also served as a strategic planning consultant for racial justice, immigrant rights, HIV/AIDS and health-related organizations, and public health departments.

Opal Tometi, BAJI Co-Director

Opal Tometi is the Co-Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) an organization that educates and advocates for immigrant rights and racial justice with African-Americans, Afro-Latinos, African and Caribbean immigrant communities. Opal resides in New York City, where she also supports BAJI’s flagship program the Black Immigration Network (BIN), a nationwide network of Black-led organizations, programs and individuals uniting for racial justice and migrant rights.

As a 1st generation Nigerian-American who was born and raised in Arizona, Opal has been active in the migrant rights movement for over 10 years. Most recently, Opal played an instrumental part in strategic communications and cross-cultural grassroots organizing against SB 1070 and other anti-migrant and-People of Color policies with the Puente Movement, the Alto Arizona campaign and with other migrant justice groups in Arizona. Opal was the 2012 recipient of the ‘Unsung Hero for Justice’ Award by the African American Legislative and Leadership Conference of Arizona. She is an advocate to end violence against women, a writer and a media maker. Opal holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Masters of Arts degree in Communication and Advocacy.

Tia Oso, Black Immigration Network (BIN) National Coordinator and BAJI Arizona Organizer

Tia Oso is a native to Arizona and a long time social justice advocate. Ms. Oso studied Human Communication at ASU and interned with the National Conference for Community and Justice where she organized the “Not in Our State” campaign and Black and African Diaspora dialogue series. Tia has served on boards and volunteered her time with several Valley organizations including NAACP and United Way. Recently, Ms. Oso has served on the MLK celebration committee for Community Celebrating Diversity and worked to support local independent artists. Ms. Oso is a firm believer in the ability of people to become change-makers in their community.

Terence Courtney, BAJI Southeast Regional Organizer

Terence Courtney  is the Atlanta-based Southeast Regional Organizer for the Black Alliance for Just Immigration where he engages in strategic organizing and alliance building in the South. Terence who was born in Atlanta, Georgia began organizing with Service Employees International union where he led SEIU campaigns in the public and private sectors; and organizing using a methodology that to brought Latino and African American workers together.

In Fall 2003 Terence became Atlanta Jobs with Justice’s  (JwJ) first staff person. Terence helped to found Atlanta JwJ organize and marshal the Atlanta leg of the Immigrant Worker Freedom Rides.  Additionally, he’s been a spokesperson who’s eloquently linked the Civil Rights and Immigrant Rights movements together.  Terence also assisted in organizing for the right of undocumented community members to gain licenses and legalization in the state of Georgia and organized with JwJ and others in the civil rights communities and labor to beat back the anti-immigrant attack led by US law-makers like Sensenbrenner.  Terence continues to organize dialogues that lead to action among African American and immigrant communities.

Juwaher Yusuf, Program Associate

Juwaher Yusuf is s the New York City based, Program Associate with the Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Juwaher has a strong passion for community development, youth advocacy and immigration that developed through her first-hand experience as a newcomer to Canada. A graduate from the University of Western Ontario, she holds a degree in Global Culture and Development Studies. Ms.Yusuf is also a CITY Leaders graduate from United Way Toronto and the University of Toronto. In addition to supporting BAJI’s staff and programs, she also interns at the United Nations for the 2013 General Assembly. 

 Juwaher was featured in the Huffington Post in an article entitled “Young People Making Waves in Toronto” for her role at the Eritrean Youth Collective.