Goals and Objectives of UMACA
The USA-MALI CHARITABLE ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK CITY – Malian Cultural Center (MCC) is committed to enhancing the cultural diversities of New York City with its worldwide embrace of community, providing an excellent opportunity for more inclusion. Mali, home to one of the world’s first world-class institutions of higher learning (both scientifically and culturally), that provided the prototype for higher education worldwide; and, we are proud to bring these knowledge and practices to the people of NYC, specifically its young people in their formative years.
Since 2010, the MCC has been conducting Saturday classes, as well as, after-school programs. These cultural programs serve young people between the ages of 7 and 13, bringing west African life to students; an area of study and knowledge that is limited in the standard education curriculum.
Students and young people learn the meaning, as well as the practice of music, dance, language, family and community life that is different from their own communities, yet sharing the norms and mores of all families and communities worldwide. They are taught rituals and practices that develop love and fellowship in communities, such as birth – the celebration and meaning of life. Celebrations also looks to harvest seasons and other goodwill or prosperous times in community to share by and with everyone. In other words, community life is demonstrated through the dance, music – both instrumental and vocally, and language.
“Cultural Evening” Programming of MCC are the signature name of our public events conducted each year, city-wide in parks, the UN and other venues for the general populations of NYC. These events bring renowned west African artists to perform and share African cultures and are designed specifically to place west African cultures in the public sphere with the same distinctions as all cultures. “Cultural Evenings” are opened to all residents of New York City.
Our teaching models include the African language Bambara and French, the lingua franca of many west African countries. Also included is music, dance and west African understandings of family and community. This assists young people in knowing and recognizing similarities and differences in many cultures and embracing an understanding that will carry over to their adult lives.
The Public School Program is free of cost for NYC students and is committed to building a strong and diverse community.
The Malian Cultural Center, working with the UN Francophonie Organization, is committed to ending Female Genital Mutiliation (FMG) by 2030. FMG, a cultural practice dating back many centuries without the benefit of current scientific and medical knowledge is an unnecessary practice that no young child/woman should endure. The only rationale given for its continuation is tradition. This is not acceptable. When we know and understand that something has no benefits (health or medically), we should not continue its practice. We are committed to public education, public knowledge and activities to end this practice by 2030.
Female Genital Mutilation is now “Finally Girls Matter” – a phrase coined by UMACA to highlight the urgency of discussion and actions of determined men and women and organizations to keep our women and girls whole. For the past six (6) years, since 2012, we have joined with United Nations organizations to conduct public programming highlighting this issue. Our primary focus and intent is to eradicate FMG and violences of all types against women and girls in Africa and wherever else it exists.
Our continous and unfailing reason to exist as an organization is to share, retain west African community cultural practices in the United States and specifically, New York City.