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Legal scholar and activist P.L.O. Lumumba to stop in Cincinnati as part of month-long tour

Law professor and activist P.L.O. Lumumba is smiling in this portrait. He is wearing a rust--colored top with white stitching.
Lawyer and activist P.L.O. Lumumba is pictured in this portrait with his hands together. He's wearing white and sitting in a black chair.
Posted at 6:00 AM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-17 08:09:48-04

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that P.L.O. Lumumba was affiliated with the University of Cincinnati. WCPO 9 regrets the error.

CINCINNATI -- A law professor known across the African continent for his intellect and activism will stop in Cincinnati as part of a one-month tour of the United States and the Pacific Islands.

P.L.O. Lumumba will deliver lectures and talks that focus on the socio-economic, cultural and political regeneration of Africa, according to a news release issued by GDDF - One Voice Consortium.

The Cincinnati-based African Professionals Network, or APNET, is partnering with GDDF - One Voice Consortium to bring Lumumba to town.

He will be the featured speaker at two events open to the public: a dinner and networking mixer on July 20 and a free event at the University of Cincinnati July 21 that can be attended in person or virtually.

Prince Ellis, president and co-founder of APNET, said he’s looking forward to hearing Lumumba’s thoughts on governance and how the U.S. and its citizens can invest in African countries and leverage international economic relationships.

“APNET has really been trying to do this work for a while now,” Ellis said. “To bring the community together to do good work. Once we combine voices to make one big voice, we can make a lot of difference.”

APNET launched in 2010 to help connect local professionals who are originally from the African continent. Ellis, an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati, is originally from Ghana. His wife is originally from Kenya. Both are U.S. citizens, he said, but still feel a strong connection to their countries of origin.

“Most of us want to invest here in the U.S. but also want to invest back in the country of origin,” Ellis said. “Having these meetings and these connections and events will provide a pathway.”

APNET offers professional networking for its members in addition to mentoring, career development and helping navigate U.S. culture, Ellis said. Many members were born on the African continent or have other close ties to countries there, but Ellis said the group is open to anyone.

Lumumba is founder and chairman of the PLO Lumumba Foundation and a founding partner at Lumumba and Lumumba Advocates. He is a former director and CEO of the Kenya School of Law and former Secretary of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission. He also is a former director of the now defunct Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission. He is an associate professor of public law and founding dean of Kabarak University School of Law and is an advocate of the High Courts of Kenya and Tanzania.

He is considered to be among the 100 most influential Africans in the world, and his foundation has offices and projects in 38 African countries. More information about his U.S. tour can be found online.

Ellis has worked with David Mutua, an APNET member and special projects executive at GDDF - One Voice Consortium, and a team of volunteers for months to plan and organize Lumumba's visit to Cincinnati. Other volunteers include Clara Matonhodze-Strode, principal owner of Multicultural Solutions LLC; Alex Owino; Dr. Rogers Tuwei; Dr. Martin Kimani and Lyveen Nzainga.

Sponsors for Lumumba's visit include University of Cincinnati, Apollo Medical Group, Foreign Policy Leadership Council, APNET, CALD International, Multicultural Solutions, COVE-51, Rafili Sounds and Sankofa Foods. Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Tyrone Yates will host Lumumba for a Foreign Policy Leadership Council virtual meeting, a visit to the Hamilton County Courthouse and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

More information about Lumumba and the upcoming events in Cincinnati – including how to register – can be found online.

Lucy May writes about the people, places and issues that define our region – to celebrate what makes the Tri-State great and shine a spotlight on issues we need to address. To reach Lucy, email lucy.may@wcpo.com. Follow her on Twitter @LucyMayCincy.