The Oromo Studies Association (OSA) is organizing its Mid-Year Conference in Chicago on March 29 and 30, 2014. The deadline for submission of papers and panels is February 15, 2014. OSA is committed to advancing Oromo scholarship and advocating for the Oromo people based on the evidences it collects from Oromo studies. OSA invites all who accept its organizational mission to become its members, and help OSA reach out to more scholars and students and all who may benefit from its work. For more information on how to become an OSA member or pay membership fees, please visit OSA’s website at OromoStudies.org or visit its Facebook page.
We are honored to introduce to you two of our Keynote Speakers for the much anticipated 2014 Mid-Year Conference: Ms. Obse Lubo and Mr. Nagessa Oddo Dube. Please read the Keynote Speakers’ brief biographies below.
1. Ms. Obse Lubo
Ms. Obse Lubo, Keynote Speaker at the 2014 OSA Mid-Year Conference
Ms. Obse Lubo is a Registered Nurse at Stanford University Medical Center, California. Born and raised in the city of Nejo, Oromia region in Ethiopia, Obse came to the United States in 2000.
She attended South High School in Minneapolis and went on to graduate from the University of St. Catherine with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In 2007 Obse moved to Northern California in search of better job opportunities. Her passion for nursing emanates from lived experiences growing up in a place where death, due to preventable and treatable infectious diseases, is common. She is now using her medical training to give back to a society of which she once was a part.
Obse grew up nurtured by the unconditional love and kindness that the people have for each other and for total strangers. It was also at young age that she was exposed to the appalling condition of those who got by on less than a dollar a day. Not unlike in other parts of Oromia, Nejo dwellers face extreme poverty, severe unemployment, infant mortality and high level of illiteracy. In spite of these insurmountable challenges, her parents and the people of Nejo raised Obse with kindness and spirit to always help those most in need.
In 2009, only two years in her career as a Nurse, Obse began organizing annual medical mission trips to the Nejo Hospital with groups of nurses and doctors from Northern California. Every year since, Obse has traveled to Nejo to working with locals on capacity building, health education, disease prevention and intervention. In 2012 she founded the East African Medical Relief Foundation (EAMRF) to establish a quality and sustainable medical network that is responsive to the needs of the under-served, vulnerable people of the Oromia region of Ethiopia.
Her volunteer work focuses on the town of Nejo, where one hospital serves a community of over 500,000 people with only six physicians. The hospital has very limited resources to provide basic health care to its patients. EAMRF has saved hundreds of lives and provided thousands of donated medical supplies as well as training manuals to the hospital staff.
During her most recent trip in 2013, Obse collaborated with Here4Themfoundation and traveled to Nejo with a team of physicians and nurses from California – who performed 170 cataract surgeries and 13 cleft lip surgeries at Nejo Hospital. EAMRF is planning to redouble its effort to expand the hospital support service to other cities and hospitals in Oromia. Efforts are already underway to build the first ever Diagnostic and Imaging Center in Nejo. The Center will be equipped with donated diagnostic equipment, including but not limited to, Ultrasounds, X-rays, CT scanners, Mammography machines, and fully equipped laboratory departments. It would benefit an estimated 1.5-2 million people in the Western Oromia region. When completed, the Nejo Diagnostic and Imaging Center will allow patients to get echocardiogram and other diagnostic testings without having to make the long 12-hour journey to Addis Ababa (Finfinne), Ethiopia’s capital.
** Saving One City, One Hospital, One Soul at a time **
2. Mr. Nagessa Oddo Dube
Mr. Nagessa Oddo Dube, Keynote Speaker at the 2014 OSA Mid-Year Conference
Mr. Nagessa Oddo Dube is a politician, attorney, academician, and human rights activist who aspires to see the united and strong Oromo nation based on the democratic Gadaa system. Born to a pastoral family in the Guji zone of the Oromia State, like any Oromo child, he helped his family with farming duties, and looking after calves and goats. He was sent to school in 1988, and he diligently worked to become an outstanding student who considered standing first in his class and from whole classes his birthright. He joined the Nagelle High School in 1996 and the Law Faculty of Addis Ababa University in 2000. Imbued with the Gadaa system’s egalitarian ethos, he has deep-rooted love for justice, democracy, and rule of law in Ethiopia. He began to work with Oromos from different walks of life to expose and fight the systematic violations of human rights in Ethiopia. He actively participated in the Oromo Students Movement and rose to the position of a chairperson of the Oromo Students’ Unity Association of Addis Ababa University in the year 2003-2004. In June 2004 he organized a protest against the decision of the government to move the capital of Oromia from Finfinne to Adama. Over four hundred students were arrested and tortured of which 25 of them, including Nagessa, were kept behind the bars till 2007.
He was released from Qaliti prison in March 2007. Despite these challenges, he has always been an optimist. He decided not to give up on the struggle for the respect of fundamental human rights, for which he was convinced that acquiring quality education was necessary. He rejoined the Law Faculty of Addis Ababa University and graduated with an LLB degree in 2009. Sooner, he joined an opposition political party, the Oromo People’s Congress (OPC), in 2009. Representing the Guji zone of Oromia, he ran for a parliamentary seat in the May 2010 general election. During his campaign, he survived numerous assassination attempts, but many of his campaign staff members were put in a jail for simply voting and campaigning for him. In January 2012 he was elevated to the position of vice-chairman of the Oromo People’s Congress (OPC). He diligently worked to unite the OPC and the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM), and form the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC). After the merger, he became a Public Relations Head of OFC until he came to the U.S. for education. He is still strongly engaged in the Oromo struggle and exposes the ordeals of Oromo political prisoners in the hellish Ethiopian prison cells.
For more information, and submission of articles and panels, please contact OSA President, Dr. Ibrahim Elemo, at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org