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About Ile Oro

Celebrating Tradition, Empowering Communities

Welcome to Ile Oro, the House of Wealth and Tradition, where our mission is to preserve, celebrate, and promote the rich cultural heritage of the Yoruba tradition. Founded in 2000, Ile Oro has been a cornerstone of cultural enrichment and community empowerment on the South Side of Chicago.


Our organization is rooted in a deep commitment to our mission and values. We believe in the power of culture to inspire, educate, and unite communities. Our programs and initiatives are designed to honor the traditions of the past while fostering creativity and innovation for the future.

Participants at beach sunrise service

Our Mission

Integrating art, culture, and black excellence to uplift and inspire.

At Ile Oro, our transformative mission is to weave together art, culture, and the tapestry of black excellence to inspire and uplift the South Side of Chicago. Since our inception in 2000, we have been dedicated to catalyzing personal development, strengthening familial bonds, and empowering BIPOC communities to forge a legacy rooted in world peace.

Fostering cultural pride, healing, and empowerment through Yorùbá heritage.

Grounded in the richness of Yorùbá culture, we champion the greatness of Africaness, addressing racial oppression through immersive experiences in art, folklore, and spirituality. Our purpose is to heal generational trauma, foster cultural acceptance, and embolden individuals to reach their fullest potential.

Championing black excellence and LGBTQ+ rights while nurturing community resilience.

Guided by Yorùbá values, we celebrate the inseparable connection between art and spirituality. At Ile Oro, we stand as a beacon of black excellence, advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, and nurturing community resilience through curatorial work, artistic development, and cultural awareness initiatives.

Our History

Established in 2000, Ile Oro began as a tribute to the rich cultural tapestry of the Yorùbá people. From its inception, our organization has been dedicated to preserving and celebrating African traditions, serving as a cultural hub for BIPOC communities on the South Side of Chicago.

Over the years, Ile Oro has grown into a dynamic force for cultural revitalization and community empowerment. Through art, culture, and grassroots initiatives, we have fostered a sense of belonging and pride among our members while addressing social injustices and advocating for equity.


Driven by our commitment to cultural resurgence and social justice, Ile Oro continues to evolve, adapting to the changing needs of our community. With each chapter of our history, we honor the resilience of those who have contributed to our legacy and remain steadfast in our pursuit of a more inclusive and equitable future.

Our Values

Cultural Preservation

Ile Oro is committed to preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of the Yorùbá people and the broader African diaspora. We recognize the importance of preserving traditional arts, customs, and languages as a means of celebrating our shared history and identity.

Social Justice

Ile Oro is dedicated to advancing social justice and equity for all members of society, particularly those who have been historically marginalized or oppressed. We advocate for fairness, equality, and the dismantling of systemic barriers that hinder progress and perpetuate injustice.

Community Empowerment

At Ile Oro, we believe in the power of community to effect positive change and create meaningful opportunities for growth and development. We empower individuals and families to take ownership of their futures through access to education, resources, and support networks.


Inclusivity is at the heart of everything we do at Ile Oro. We embrace diversity in all its forms and strive to create inclusive spaces where everyone feels welcomed, valued, and respected. We celebrate the unique contributions of individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Our Leadership

Alaje Fadesiye, President & Executive Director

Alaje Fadesiyé Thomas, an advocate for cultural enrichment, combines technology and education at Ile Oro. With a rich background in Chicago's artistic scene, he drives innovative initiatives that foster community cohesion and celebrate cultural expression.

Asiel Hardison, Vice President & Artistic Director

Asiel Hardison's remarkable journey from Chicago stages to global acclaim ignites Ile Oro's artistic vision. His expertise in curating immersive experiences transcends conventional boundaries, fostering dialogue, connection, and empowerment within the community. Asiel shapes a vibrant cultural landscape where diversity thrives and artistic expression flourishes.

Directors, Asiel (L) and Alaje (R)

Community Partnerships

Collaborative Partnerships

Ile Oro collaborates with a wide range of community partners, including local businesses, schools, cultural institutions, and nonprofit organizations. These partnerships enable us to leverage resources, expand our reach, and maximize our impact on the communities we serve.

Strategic Alliances
We form strategic alliances with organizations that share our values and mission, fostering mutually beneficial relationships that drive positive change and promote collective action. By working together, we can address complex social issues and create lasting solutions.
Community Engagement
Our community partners play a vital role in shaping and co-creating our programs and initiatives. We actively seek input and feedback from community members to ensure our activities are relevant, inclusive, and responsive to local needs and priorities.
Impactful Collaboration
Through meaningful collaboration, we amplify the voices of underrepresented communities, advocate for systemic change, and build bridges across diverse groups. Together, we strive to create a more just, equitable, and vibrant society for all.

As we journey forward, united by our passion for cultural preservation and community empowerment, Ile Oro stands as a testament to the transformative power of art, culture, and collective action. Join us in shaping a world where creativity thrives, traditions flourish, and every voice is heard and celebrated.

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