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Our Team

Mirabel Fonyuy Umenei
MA, MBA, CTA

Mirabel Fonyuy Umenei, professionally known as Myra Maimoh, is a talented artist, chef, and entrepreneur hailing from Cameroon. With a strong foundation in studio work and a steadfast commitment to professionalism, Myra's artistic journey began at the tender age of three, showcasing her singing and dancing talents. Throughout her career, whether as part of girl bands or as a solo performer, Myra has consistently captivated audiences with her musical prowess and natural ability to command attention.

Before embarking on her academic pursuits in 2005, Myra was a highly sought-after studio vocalist in Cameroon, collaborating with renowned artists and radio stations, and recording in some of the country's most prestigious studios. Her reputation as one of the most in-demand vocalists in the industry was a testament to her exceptional talent and dedication.

Driven by her passion for empowering immigrant women, creatives, and businesses, both in the United States and Africa, Mirabel F. Umenei actively works towards strengthening existing business structures and facilitating the establishment of new ventures. She is deeply committed to equipping businesses with the necessary tools and skills to thrive on the global stage.

Myra Maimoh's multifaceted background, coupled with her unwavering work ethic, has positioned her as a respected figure in the arts and entrepreneurial communities. Her pursuit of excellence and her ability to seamlessly navigate between her artistic and culinary passions have solidified her reputation as a versatile and accomplished professional.

Connect with Mirabel F. Umenei to explore her artistic endeavors, entrepreneurial ventures, and her advocacy for empowering women and creatives. Her dedication to uplifting others and fostering growth serves as an inspiration to aspiring artists and entrepreneurs worldwide.

Reuben Ndjerareou

 My name is Reouhidi Reuben Ndjerareou and I am grateful to serve as the Board President of the African Collaborative Network ( ACN). I am from Chad, Africa and spent 9 years in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During that time, I earned a Master's degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. I also was involved in non-profit work in the areas of social and economic development, prison/reentry ministry, and immigrant resettlement. However, working with a group of fellow Africans, to establish the ACN is my greatest testimony and strongest contribution to my time in Grand Rapids. As an African, privileged to have lived and worked in many places, I believe I am an ambassador, wherever I am, for African cultures, African perspectives, and African voices.

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Joanna DeMoor-Tannor, MSW, MPNL

Originally from Edmonton, Canada, Joanna moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1999 and has found a home here ever since along with her husband who hails from Accra, Ghana.  Their family has been built in part through refugee foster care, as three of their six children are originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo and from Eritrea.

 

Joanna serves as Executive Director for Madison Church, and is honored to join the ACN in engaging in advocacy, dialogue, and partnerships to provide access to resources and opportunities for the African community within the Greater Grand Rapids area.

Christine Mwangi, CAP®

Christine Mwangi is an accomplished and results-oriented leader who's committed to developing solutions and promoting strategies to advance equitable and innovative business strategies. She has been recognized for her tireless work ethic and thought leadership in diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion methodologies. As a global citizen who has lived, worked and been educated on three continents, Mwangi possesses a global lens that she skillfully uses to facilitate courageous conversations about race, privilege, and culture. She generously lends her expertise and thought-provoking leadership to non-profits, educational institutions, foundations, and public sector organizations.

 

Mwangi finds great joy in serving the Greater Grand Rapids and Lakeshore communities as a non-profit leader and fund development professional. In addition, she serves on various boards which afford her opportunities to offer her skills and talents to ensure the communities she loves continue to thrive.

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Robert Kagiri

Originally from Kenya, has lived in Grand Rapids the last 20 years. Holds a Master’s degree in Information Assurance Security from Davenport University, and works as a Sr. Systems Engineer. He is also the current President of the West Michigan Kenyans Association. He loves the outdoors and spends most of his free time exploring the beautiful Michigan countryside. His favorite quote comes from his hero Nelson Mandela “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite” He is honored to be a board member of ACN.

Aghuinyue Esaindang (Esai) Umenei  ( Ph.D)

Dr. A.E. Umenei is an Innovation and Engineering consultant with over 13 years of experience. He has expertise in Innovation development & strategy, with technical expertise in multiphysics modeling. He has worked on several companies in the West Michigan area, across multiple industries. He has over 18 published papers, with multiple scientific, guest-speaker and conference presentations; over 15 patents granted and pending.

Dr. Umenei is also an entrepreneur and advocate for  business and community development for the African immigrant & refugees in West Michigan. He has served on multiple boards in the diversity and inclusion non-profit spaces where business, community development/representation and growth intersect. He is a founding member of the African Collaborative Network, a West Michigan based advocacy group for African immigrants & refugees.

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Rosine Yayrato B.S.(Psych), MAOL

Rosine is a Togolese-American. She is the owner of Hephzibah hair & boutique in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and she is a Christian minister. Rosine is passionate about cultural intelligence, holistic living and she thrives to honour and to love people from all walks of life. She earned her undergraduate degrees in biblical ministry and psychology, and her master's degree in organizational leadership. Rosine loves to laugh and to go on solo travels. 

Achol Otto 

Achol Otto is a dedicated college senior originally from South Sudan who is majoring in International Development. With a passion for community engagement and a drive to create meaningful change, Achol has honed her leadership skills through her involvement in various boards since her high school years, and has continued to do so throughout her college education. Currently, she is interning at the African Collaborative Network in Grand Rapids, MI, where she is applying the knowledge and skills acquired from her board experiences to contribute to the betterment of her own community. Achol brings a valuable youth perspective to the board as the youngest member with her ability to bridge generational gaps and effectively communicate with individuals from different age groups. Her unique perspective, shaped by her experiences and exposure to diverse communities, allows her to offer a fresh and forward-thinking approach to problem-solving. Her presence not only represents the voice of the younger generation but also ensures that the board's decisions consider the needs and aspirations of the community's youth. Achol's passion for community development, combined with her youth perspective, positions her as a catalyst for positive change within the organization and the broader community.

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Join our family of volunteers

Are you passionate about social change, community building, and empowering the underrepresented?

 

We invite you to join the African Collaborative Network (ACN) and contribute towards a meaningful cause.

The ACN is an African-led, non-profit organization based in West Michigan, dedicated to advocating for African refugees and immigrants. Our mission revolves around four core pillars - Advocacy, Education, Economic Empowerment, and Unity/Collaboration.

As a volunteer with ACN, you'll have the opportunity to:

  1. Engage in Meaningful Work: Your contribution will directly impact the lives of refugees and immigrants, providing them with valuable resources and opportunities.

  2. Grow Professionally and Personally: Develop essential skills, broaden your network, and gain hands-on experience in community service and non-profit management.

  3. Immerse in Cultural Exchange: Working with ACN offers rich cultural experiences, fostering understanding and unity among diverse groups.

  4. Create a Ripple of Change: By becoming a part of our mission, you help shape a more inclusive, empowered community, leading to broader societal impact.

We welcome volunteers from all walks of life, regardless of experience. If you are ready to dedicate some of your time and skills to enrich the lives of others and make a tangible difference, ACN is the perfect platform.

Feel free to reach out to us at info@africancollaboration.com to learn more about the volunteer opportunities available or to get answers to any queries you might have.

 

Join us today in our mission to create an inclusive, prosperous, and united African community in West Michigan. Let's drive change together.

Thank you for considering this opportunity.

Volunteer Application

The African Collaborative Network (ACN) is a non-profit organization in West Michigan, advocating for African refugees and immigrants. ACN fosters unity and empowerment within this community through advocacy, dialogues, and partnerships. The goal is to increase access to resources, facilitate cultural, social, and economic contributions, and improve outcomes through trusted networks. ACN's foundational pillars are Advocacy, Education, Economic Empowerment, and Unity/Collaboration.

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