2020 Phoenix Award Honoree
Mr. Joseph Gonkapieu Gueu
Mr. Gueu was an artist, author, community mobilizer, and creator of children’s plays in Cote d’Ivoire before arriving in the United States in December 2010. He resisted and
protested against the Student Federation of Côte d'Ivoire, a violent pro-government militia, by joining the Union Democratique pour la Paix de Cote d’Ivoire. He was beaten so badly by members of the oppressive regime that he was knocked unconscious and
hospitalized. Fearing for his life, he fled the country, leaving his wife and daughter behind.
Despite the fact that his asylum case has been "pending" for almost a decade, Mr. Gueu has been a remarkably positive and supportive member of the PSOT community. He is one of the driving forces behind the communal strength of the Francophone African
group. Members speak about his generosity of spirit, and how he has helped many others to withstand the very same challenges he is traversing. Mr. Gueu holds multiple jobs, including driving for Uber; and he has collaborated with PSOT staff in writing a recently published scholarly article regarding human rights and healing. He hopes to continue his advanced education and healing work in a formalized fashion, as soon as
his immigration status is normalized.