Onleilove Chika Alston
Onleilove (pronounced Onlylove) Chika Alston, founder of Prophetic Whirlwind, was born and raised in East New York, Brooklyn. Onleilove is also a community organizer, speaker, and writer with a deep dedication to declaring the full Good News of Scripture, developing disciples of Yahshua and building bridges between Africans of faith in the diaspora and Africans of faith in Africa.
Having experienced poverty and homelessness by the age of seven, she has developed a compassion for people fueled by her passion for justice and knows that the gospel is truly “good news to the poor.” After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Human Development with a minor in African-American studies from Penn State University, she completed a year of service with AmeriCorps Public Allies New York. In 2011, she received her Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work degrees from Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University School of Social Work, respectively. Onleilove served as the second executive director at PICO-Faith in New York, where she led a multiracial and multifaith organizing federation of 70+ congregations representing 80,000 New Yorkers who are working to Build the Beloved City — where all of The Creator’s children can live in dignity. A womanist, Onleilove writes and lectures on the implicit bias of colorism and its impact on African-American women; having developed A Women’s Theology of Liberation and Live Free W.O.M.B. (Women Organizing Out of Mass Incarceration and Brutality) for the Faith in Action Network. In 2016 Onleilove testified before the United Nations Working Group for People of African Descent on Mass Incarceration’s Impact on Black Women & Girls.
Her writing has been featured in Sojourners Magazine, Huff Post Religion, The Black Commentator, and NPR’s On Being blog, as well as in other print and online publications. She has been a featured speaker and workshop facilitator at CCDA, Dartmouth College, Why Christian, Sojourners Summit for Change, The 2015 African Hebrew Conference in Israel, and The Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference among other conferences, congregations, universities, and organizations.
She is also the founder of the consulting firm HERWisdom which works with organizations to empower women leaders and raise awareness around gender and racial equity issues.
Often ministering among Hebrew communities in West Africa, she was appointed as the Ambassador and given the title of Iyom for The Organization of Igbo-Hebrew Heritage Cultural Foundation’s Joseph Project which seeks to build a link between diaspora Africans and Igbos. She has written a book on this subject called Prophetic Whirlwind: Uncovering the Black Biblical Destiny, published by Voices Publishing. She is currently co-leading the Ghana Panafest Interfaith 400 Years Spiritual Pilgrimage where she is mobilizing African and African-American faith leaders to return to Ghana for interfaith dialogue and reflection on the 400th anniversary since the first enslaved Africans were brought to the shores of America.
Her travels and work have taken her to Scotland, England, Switzerland, Israel, Ghana Nigeria, Puerto Rico, The US Virgin Islands, St. Martin, Morocco and Togo. Onleilove has five siblings and a large extended family. She worships at Beth-El The House of Yahweh in the South Bronx, a 65-year old Messianic Hebrew community. For everything she has accomplished Chika says To Yahweh Be the Glory!
Deconstructing the Theology of White Supremacy
Through examining African, Jewish, and Christian communities from antiquity until today, we can uncover how our faith has been whitewashed and learn how, moving forward, we can reclaim the true faith once delivered to the saints.
Song of Songs and The Implicit Bias of Colorism
Through examining the Song of Songs in the Hebrew language it was written in, we will shine light on the Implicit Bias of colorism and learn how to combat this discrimination in our communities.
What Isaiah 61 Teaches Us About Faith Organizing Led by The Poor
The Gospel is Good News to the Poor but is it empowering? Through examining Isaiah 61, we see Yahweh's plan for justice where the poor are empowered to rebuild their own communities.