Friends of the African Union Call
TOPIC: FORMATION OF NATIONAL
BLACK COUNCIL OF ELDERS
Date and Time: Friday, April 15, 2016 9:00 PM Eastern Time!!!!
Duration: 1.5 Hour
Description: United States 1 (712) 770-4010
3nd DRAFT OF PROPOSED FORMATION OF A NATIONAL BLACK COUNCIL OF ELDERS
Mission – To engage in, aid and assist the building of a National Movement and Network of Council of Elders whose role and function will be to provide spiritual guidance, formulate policy and to develop programs and projects which contribute to the growth and economic empowerment of the African American National Community.
Purpose – To build Council of Elders in every locality where blacks inhabit in this country around foundational Principles of Unity and Principles of Cooperation which provide an over-arching ideology for the collective mission of building a National Community and unifying with our Global family in Africa, and the rest of the Diaspora. These principles can be found in the Kwanzaa Accords to which the FAU and CAP signed onto in 2013.
Definition of National Black Council of Elders – Elements
1. The first and foremost priority for a Council of Elders is to be Caretakers, Gatekeepers and Stewards of African culture in all of its many and diverse manifestations, i.e. its values, principles, progressive rituals, traditions, history, paradigms, cosmologies, worldview, languages, indigenous industries, dances, songs, cuisines, political, social and economic theories and practices, and most of all the integrity and control of our African Land Base, Mother Africa. In these areas, the COE must be uncompromising, determined and vigilant.
2. The Council of Elders shall be made up of Women and Men who have proven long term commitment and capacity to preserve, promote and protect the interests of African people, and who have the proven ability to maintain their integrity, intellect and involvement in the affairs of the Black/African Community. These elders must be able to establish a degree of stature and respect in the community, in order to build and maintain Unity, Harmony, Balance, Justice and Order in our Local and National Communities.
3. The Council of Elders will provide Leadership and Governance of Black/African Communities as one of its key roles and responsibilities will be to design, manage and institute policies, programs and projects which build and advance the best interests of our people and communities. Key areas are Health and Wellness, Housing, Education, Youth, Women, Defense, the Elderly and Disabled. Another key area is Industry Growth and Development to insure Economic Development and Job Security. In this capacity the COE must also develop the resources to build the Institutional Capacity and Structures which will ensure Economic Empowerment and Cultural Growth.
4. The Council of Elders shall create, facilitate, and provide guidance and direction for Institution Building with special focus on Key Growth Industries. Such industries shall be inclusive of, though, not limited to African centered Education, Redefined Health Care Delivery System which emphasizes Holistic Approaches, Agricultural Programs which prioritize Food as Medicine and Medicine as Food, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Sustainable Energy, Waste and Water Management, Trade and Commerce, Manufacturing, Cultural Travel and Tourism, Community Security and Defense, Creative and Cultural Production (Dance, Music, Theater, Drum, Performing Arts, Literature, Sport, Technology, Fine Art)
5. As Dr. Maaskelah Khemet outlines in her book, “Calling the Elders”, the COE will mandate Commissions to carry out certain policies, or to do research in order to formulate policy, programs and projects which advance the interests of our communities, thus allowing the Council to fulfill its role and function as a governing entity in our National, Regional and Local communities. Please refer to Dr. Khemet’s book as it provides a workable model and paradigm for the work required of the COE.
6. The Council of Elders will also be responsible for establishing policy for forming alliances and coalitions with groups outside of our community in furtherance of our community’s collective goals and objectives, as well as our short and long term interests, as the Council defines them.
7. The Council of Elders as a governing body, is mandated to represent the collective interests of African descendants in the US, encourage and support the building of COE’s in other countries where African descendants inhabit, and build a communications and networking structure with these entities. The COE is also mandated to represent the collective will and aspirations of African descendants in international bodies such as the UN and African Union, as an act of Self Determination, and allying with groups like CARICOM, which represents African Descendants in the Caribbean Region. As a governing body, the COE can also initiate and mandate the formation of a Diasporan Commonwealth in association with other Diapora peoples, which will represent the interests of the Diaspora as a whole, and not just disparate groups. The COE can also mandate a Commission which will present the best options to revive the Fihankra Tribe established in 1994, and which all African descendants of the slave trade have a right to belong to, given all such diasporans an organic relationship with our Motherland, with land set aside for those wishing to repatriate.
8. The COE will establish guidelines, policy, procedures and protocols for the resolution of community conflicts and seek agreement at local and national levels to serve as an Appeals Court and Supreme Court for any behaviors personal and/or organizational, which cause community disharmony. As the COE is the Stewarts of Community Values as embodied in the Nguzo Saba and Ma’at, it shall also have the power of being the final arbiter or mediator in disputes.
9. The above, are all elements and rationale supporting the formation of a National Black Council of Elders, but the most significant is that a COE provides a context and the structural capacity for African Americans to step on the World Stage as a Free, Proud and Productive people. We, as a people, and a National Community have a unique historical contribution to make to Global African Liberation, Human Freedom, and Human Progress. Our organizational efforts will not only bring our people closer to liberation, but bring the whole of humanity closer to full and final Human Liberation, such that all of our children can walk in a warmer Sun, truly for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
PRINCIPLES OF UNITY
1. Unity – Operational Unity, or organizing around our common goals, objectives and aspirations. Agreeing to disagree on those matters we may differ on, but moving forward promoting a positive Agenda which brings our people together towards a common end.
Levels of Unity
c. Community – where you share values
d. Neighborhood – where you live
e. Nation – Our National Community
g. Global African
2. Self Determination – The right and responsibility to exercise our sovereign right to determine our own identity and destiny as a people and national community, especially where our rights are continuously violated and disrespected by the dominant society.
3. Collective Work and Responsibility – The recognition that Nation Building is a shared activity and endeavor, even a duty, as a member of the African Community. This duty requires a commitment to the Rescue, Restoration, Reconstruction of African values, institutions, monuments and most importantly, the the African Personality which Franz Fanon refers to.
4. Cooperative Economics – This principle is grounded in the African concept of communitarian values, which determines that wealth is shared for the betterment and enrichment of the entire community, and not for a small elite.
5. Purpose – Our purpose is the vocation of building a National and Global Community which not only houses our collective aspirations, but allows for us develop and defend our interests as we define them, as a self determined people.
6. Creativity – This principle has social and sacred meaning, as it refers to the quality of the community we seek to build, which is many African societies, meant “To Bring Good to the World”. Thus, it is our task to leave the world more beautiful and beneficial that what we inherited.
7. Faith – Faith inspires, uplifts, elevates and sustains us as we engage in the process of restoration and reconstruction of our values, culture, institutions, lives and the paradigms which our Ancestors laid down for us to follow. It is grounded in the belief that we struggle for a more perfect and righteous world, and that within this endeavor, we, at the same time, create a New African Man and Woman.
PRINCIPLES OF COOPERATION
1. Mutual respect for the autonomy of each organization and entity to enter into this formation.
2. Respect for agreed upon rules of order and decorum when engaging in common action, in meetings, conference calls, and personal interactions.
3. Respect for the diverse value orientations and interests of persons and organizations, even as we engage in the process of merging our values and interests into a mutually agreed upon set, which moves our agenda, goals and objectives forward in a positive manner, in order to achieve intended results.
4. Commitment to engage in the sharing of resources, skills and talents which allow us to coordinate, cooperate and benefit from the unity we build and establish.
5. Sharing in the responsibility to be productive in the interest of our larger community, and to work in tandem with other generations, that we may learn from each other, in love and struggle.
6. Whatever ideology brought you to the table, leave it at the door, for our common goal is to formulate and design a Common Mission, and that mission should be our focus when we sit at the Round Table. Allow your ideology to keep you inspired when you go back to your respective organizations, but in a United Front, let our common goals guide our actions, strategies and deliberations, as we are ONe.
7. All potential for conflicts to arise, must be addressed as soon as they arise, and escalation cannot be tolerated in the interest of Community Harmony. Where any conflicts may arise between or among groups, factions, communities, entities or persons, each must submit their grievance(s) to a Conflict Resolution Board within the Council of Elders who will convene to either mediate or arbitrate such grievance in accord with the values of the African Community. African social order is not based on a system of laws, but founded on a set of Sacred Values and Principles which establish Social Harmony. When such Harmony is thrown out of Balance, Order is Re-established, and Justice served, by arriving at a Balanced Judgement based on Truth, Propriety and Reciprocity until Harmony is brought back into Balance. This is the way of our Ancestors.
STRUCTURE AND ORGANIZATION
The structure and organization of the COE must be done is such a way that is allows for maximum participation from all community persons as we all work to achieve our common goals and objective.
The following structure for COE is borrowed from Dr. Maaskelah K. Thomas’ book, “Calling the Elders”
A. Presiding Elder – One chosen to announce decisions made
B. Elders – Generally from 60 years and up, but for this formidable period, we will allow age 55 especially for those who may have certain needed skills and/or ties to the community.
C. Associate Elders – 50-59 yrs.
D. Scribes – Assistants to Elders and can be from any age group and who can provide consult on any range of issues.
E. Simba – 18-49 yrs. (Warriors, Apprentices, Nation Builders)
F. Wanafunzi – 3 – 17 (Students)
G. Watoto – Birth – 2 yrs.
Emissaries – (Wajumbe) Those who go into the community and bring back information from various sectors for the Elders Circle.
These are established for the expressed purposes of gathering information and/or formulating or designing policy on any given issue, as designated by the COE.
The Round Table allows for interaction with the wider community on any range of issues, such as homelessness, drugs, criminal justice, abuse, etc. This would include community and/or civic organizations which may specialize in these key areas, and there in a need for coordination or utilization of resources.
1. National Formation – responsible for sending out the call for COE’s in each community. Establishing community standards for how local and regional formations can carry out their role and function in the interest of the masses. Formulating Planning goals and Policy objectives which can be implemented at the local levels. Engaging in Fund raising for all levels, and in such areads as Research and Development, Peace and Security, Industry building, Police Abuse, and Prison Resettlement. The National Formation must have commissions and/or ministries in all areas of life of our community, i.e. Finance, Banking, Shipping, Tourism, STEM, Health, Education, Agriculture, Transportation, Rights of Passage, Youth, Women, Men, Diaspora Relations, Continental Relations, Ambassador Corps, Manufacturing, New Industries, Sustainability and Conservation, Ecology and Permaculture, Energy, Spiritual Development, History, Cultural Arts and Enrichment, Planning, Governance, Family Relations, Collective Concern, Defense and Security, Physical Training, Housing, Communications, Media, Public Relations and Journeying (Psychology). The National Council of Elders should be mandated to assembling experts and professionals in each of this areas of interests, and to provide the proper forum for them to interact with each other where necessary, in a multi-dimensional way. It should also set up for inter-generational and multiple localities to interact and engage with other on a regular basis, for mutual benefit.
This body, then, can hold yearly Conferences or Conventions which are made up of a General Assembly of official delegates who vote on Policy, Proposals, Programs, and Projects.
REGIONAL COUNCIL OF ELDERS
Regional formations are intermediaries between local and national COE. Regional formations should hold meetings and/or mini conferences on a quarterly basis to address regional issues which can be resolved at the local level, or which need to be taken to th National for further engagement at that level, or Globally to such bodies as the African Union.
LOCAL COUNCIL OF ELDERS
Local COE will work to address local issues and concerns of their respective communities, though in concert with the value orientations within the Principles of Unity and Cooperation. In this manner, we create community standards for this valuable institution, and build a basis for establishing a network of COE which have the capacity to serve as Community Governing bodies and representing the collective interests of the masses of our people in their localities. These COE formations would also be involved in the AU Legacy Project of feeding in the the National Data Base of Skills, and of organizing volunteer corps for a variety of purposes based on need. The local COE would also be mandated to mobilize and organize communities on a block by block level, thus, encouraging mass participation in the decision making process affecting the lives of each of our communities.
Communications is a key element in any organization, and involves networking within with other COE around the country, This can be done by conference calls, quarterly meetings, and yearly conventions. Media and Public Relations must be informed on every aspoect of the organization in order to deceminate correct information to the public at large. Emergency communications lines should be opened in event of any kind of disaster. The COE must be prepared to utilize all of the new technology available for education, virtual learning, job training, medical diagnosis, etc.
1. Material – physical equipment, etc.
2. Financial – Loans, Proposals, Angels, funding sources, etc
3. Skilled Personnel – Trained and skilled people for all necessary functions as they arise. This is the reason for having a data base.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN COE AND COMMONWEALTH OF THE DIASPORA
1. Gatekeepers – One of the most important roles and responsibilities of the Council of Elders is to serve as the Sacred Gatekeepers of our African Culture, Traditions, Values and Principles.
2. Community Builders – COE seeks to build the Local communities from the ground up, starting with block clubs, community groups, professional associations, faith communities, politicians, business people, unions, etc. The COE provides a framework for all community entities and stakeholders to network together, formulate strategies, develop programs and projects and to support implementation of same.
3. Nation Building – As the result of networking at the community level, each community can, then choose representatives and/or delegates to the National Congress, which, too, will formulate policy, programs and projects on a National level, and which support Community Building on the local level.
4. Congresses – Each Congress is a National entity which represents a National Community, whether it be a nation state such as Grenada, Barbados, or Jamaica; territories such as Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands; or National Communities which exist within a nation state, such as in Canada, US, Columbia, Nicaragua, France, Mexico, etc. Each of these entities will select Delegates to represent the interests of their respective communities, and the collective interests of the Diaspora as a whole.
5. Commonwealth – The Commonwealth will be designed to represent the interests of the entire Diaspora, as a whole in International Circles and on a Global level. In this respect, the Commonwealth will have defined governing authority in its representations of the collective and communal interests of all African Diaspora Descendants of the African Slave Trade.
COMMONWEALTH OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA
ARTICLE I- NAME
The name of the organization shall be the Commonwealth of the African Diaspora as an Ohio Unincorporated Association.
ARTICLE II- PURPOSE
The purpose of the Commonwealth of the African Diaspora is to build the global African Diaspora community made up People of African Decent both in their home countries and beyond by hosting and promoting networking in business through the Friends of the African Union Chamber of Commerce, and by advancing key initiatives within the global African Diaspora community based on the actions of the African Union and our Unified Congresses.
The Commonwealth of the African Diaspora is being created for the creations of a conscious capital culture in the people of the Africans Union’s Sixth region. The Commonwealth of the African Diaspora will operate at its highest potential as the global African Diaspora community made up People of African Decent the global African Diaspora community made up People of African Decent.
ARTICLE III- MISSIONS
The Commonwealth of the African Diaspora will build a 21st Century New African World Order based on an African consciousness for the high purpose of sustaining the African people through conscious leadership of the peoples assets that supports conscious a culture. Through African stakeholder integration the people of the African union and their allies will have broadband interconnect with a global best practices distance learning and education capacity that supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2020.
The Commonwealth of the African Diaspora will build on the principles proclaimed in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its determination to promote the implementation of the International Covenants on Human Rights and accepting the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review as a tool in the Declaration on the Establishment of a New Asian African and People of African Decent International Economic Coalition on October 15th 2015 at the United Nations in NYC.
Elements of African Diaspora Commonwealth
1. Unification of Diaspora Communities, Nations, Territories and Islands. The system of unification is to be determined by a congregation of Congresses from each Community/Nation in which delegates will arrive at a system to be approved by a General Assembly of the Commonwealth Communities.
2. Shared History
3. Shared Life Chances and Circumstances
4. Shared Culture and Values
5. Economic Empowerment via Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa), and Shared Markets
6. Shared Principles of Governance based on African Paradigms such as Mbongi.
7. Shared Future based on Common Vision and Aspirations to Build a New African World Order, founded on our Collective and Sovereign Interests.
3 Levels of Community Involvement
1. Mobilize – marches, petitions, sit ins, etc
2. Organize – involve and engage people in organizational structures, designed to provide solutions on a practical level, and where achievement of goals and objectives can be measured.
3. Nationalize – Engaging in a Sankofa Journey back to an African identity and personality which supports the building of a Global African Nation, and New African Man and Woman to inhabit it.
3 Ends of Culture
1. Identity – Who are we? Africans in America
2. Purpose – What to do? Build a Global African Nation
3. Direction – How we do it. Council of Elders, Congress, Commonwealth, African Union (AU), Global African Nation.