Every year, we invite speakers to inform and inspire us as we stand up for the lives of unborn children and their families. Below is a short bio for the speakers we have lined up this year:
Jesús Emmanuel Arturo Acha Martínez, a singer of ballads and pop songs, is so famous in the Latin world that he is simply known as Emmanuel. He is the son of Raúl ‘Rovira’ Acha, a famous Argentinian bull fighter, and Conchita Martinez, a flamenco dancer.
Emmanuel started off in his father’s footsteps as a bull fighter, however, after being injured in a bullfight, he decided to change careers. He started writing his own songs and singing them with his beautiful voice. In 1976 he won a singing competition where he was sponsored by El Heraldo de Mexico, a very large newspaper in Mexico, The New York Times of Mexico. Pedro Vargas, a hugely famous Mexican singer, financially backed Emmanuel so that he could produce his first album “10 razones para cantar” (“10 Reasons to Sing”). The album was produced by RCA (a very large music recording company in Mexico) and the start of a brilliant singing career had begun.
A year later he produced the album “Amor sin final” (“Love without end”) which was an international success followed by “Al final” (“At the end”) and countless successful albums followed. In 1980 he worked with the famous Spanish composer Manuel Alejandro for his fourth album “Íntimamente” (“Intimately”) with memorable songs such as “Tengo mucho que aprender de ti” (“I have a lot to learn from you”) and “Todo se Derrumbó” (“Everything Collapsed”) which sold millions of copies. With Manuel composing and Emmanuel singing, he repeatedly was at the first place in the charts in the Spanish market, an honor he held for years. Throughout the 1980’s he was at the height of his career. He starred in a TV commercial for Pepsi along with Tina Turner in 1985. He continued to produce hits throughout the 1990’s.
To this day he remains a music icon in the Latin world and continues to go on singing tours which are repeatedly sold out. He has been married for 35 years and has 3 children. He is a passionate defender of life and of the unborn and a faithful Catholic who loves God, life and his family. He wants thousands and thousands and thousands to attend Walk for Life West Coast!!
Uju Ekeocha is the founder and president of Culture of Life Africa, an initiative dedicated to the promotion and defense of the African values of the sanctity of life, the practice of faith, the beauty of marriage, the blessings of motherhood and the dignity of family life. Culture of Life Africa answers the assaults on these values with African women’s voices, in unity with Christ and His Church, and consistent with St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.
Culture of Life Africa has organized three major pro-life conferences and two March for Life rallies in Africa. Uju has advised almost 20 African bishops on women and life issues, and co-authored two declarations with African bishops promoting the gospel of life in Africa. Uju represented African women at the recent Vatican event and met with His Holiness Pope Francis.
Uju’s writing and blog posts have been published on many online outlets, including the Vatican’s Pontifical Council of the Laity web site, Catholic Online, Catholic Exchange, Catholic Stand and Life Site News, as well as print outlets such as Catholic Herald (a prominent Catholic newspaper of the U.K.). Uju has been welcomed as a speaker at pro-life events around the world, including the recent International Family Forum in Moscow, and on numerous broadcast networks, including BBC television and radio, EWTN television and radio, Ave Maria Radio, and Sacred Heart Radio. In the past year and a half, Uju has been booked 15 times on EWTN television and radio, including most recently with primetime host Fr. Mitch Pacwa.
Culture of Life Africa’s policy advocacy has focused most recently on the United Nations, but also includes an “Open Letter to Melinda Gates,” and other efforts to reject anti-life imperialism Africa in the disguise of “aid” to Africa.
Consistent with her love for the wonder of life, Uju is also a biomedical research scientist specializing in pathology and microbiology, working at a research firm in the United Kingdom. Prior her current position, she was a Medical Laboratory Scientist at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital. She holds a Master’s degree in biomedical science from the University of East London and a Bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Nigeria. Uju was born in southeast Nigeria, the youngest of six children, and has resided in the U.K. since 2006.
Rev. Clenard Childress
Pastor Clenard Howard Childress, Jr., a lifelong resident of Montclair, New Jersey, joined the New Calvary Baptist Church in September of 1974 under the pastorate of Dr. Shellie Sampson. In 1978, he was appointed Director of the Youth Department, to organize and educate youth. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Superintendent of the Sunday School Department and Vice-President of the Outreach Ministries.
Pastor Childress successfully completed Northern Baptist School of Religion in 1986 where he majored in Christian Education. He was ordained in 1988 by the North Jersey Shiloh Association and later installed as Senior Pastor of New Calvary in April of 1989.
In 1997, Pastor Childress, along with his wife Regina, founded the Eutychus Mission, a ministry designed to provide continued rehabilitation and assistance to recently released juvenile detention detainees back into the mainstream of society. In October of 1998, Essex County Executive James Treffinger honored Pastor Childress’ faithful and effective work at the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center by installing him as a Chaplain. In November of 1998, he founded the Celebration of Life Day Care Center, which provides loving Christian care for children from infancy to 5 years of age. In August of 1999, Pastor Childress was appointed President of the Life Education And Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.) in Northeast Region. He was a chief organizer of the “Say So” March to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC.
In November of 2000, Pastor Childress was awarded the Community Service Award by the Montclair Chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. for his dedicated work in the community. In May 2001, Pastor Childress began broadcasting “The Urban Prophet” taking the pro-life pro-family message into the urban areas. In September of 2002, Pastor Clenard H. Childress Jr. birthed the Pro-life website Blackgenocide.org. This website was designed to reach the Afro-American Community with the truth about abortion. In January 2003, Pastor Childress was appointed a member of the National Pro-Life Religious Council of Washington, DC. In March of 2003 Pastor Childress was appointed to the Board of The Center For Bio Ethical Reform. The Center for Bio Ethical Reform is a National Group that is dedicated in educating the nation and foreign countries on the rights of the unborn. In January 2004, Pastor Childress was appointed President of the Montclair African American Clergy Association (MAACA). On January 23, 2005 Pastor Childress having been recommended by his peers and approved by the Board of Scholars of the National Clergy Council of Washington Dc in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church –USA, received The Honorary Degree of Doctorate of Divinity. In March Of 2006 Rev. Clenard H. Childress authored his first book No Shepherd’s Cry. Pastor Childress and his book were featured on the 700 Club hosted by CBN’s Pat Roberson.
Pastor Childress Jr. has repeatedly been featured in World Magazine and has contributed commentary and editorials for Christianity Today, The Christian Post, Black Christian News, The Washington Times and New Jersey Star Ledger and is a regular columnist on Alan Keys Renew America.
Pastor Childress is joyously married to Regina Childress and has four children: Clenard, Thomas, Tonya and Tia.
Read more about Pastor Childress here.