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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

COMMUNITY STRUCTURE BUILDING POST FERGUSON; Council of Elders, Queen Mother Circles, War Council, Simba Wachanga Youth Corps



Bro. Kelvin Abrams has suggested the formation of a War Council. We in the Congress of African People, agree with the concept, but not in isolation and therefore suggests working on the following structure in Black Communities across the US. 

A War Council must have accountability to a broader entity, which represents the values, aspirations and goals of the Community at Large. Therefore, I would suggest the formation of a National Council of Elder, initially made up of those who long standing in the community and have proven to act in the community interest.

1. National Council of Elders
   These Elders would be appointed by a respected Advisory group for a 1 or 2 yr. term, afterwhich they will set up an election system, which would end their initial term. Their duties would be to set up structure for and program of the COE and what roles and responsibilities structures under their administration would and should have. They would be charged to establish policy, procedure and program with the advice and counsel of an Advisory Board constituted by professionals in their respective fields and who represent the diverse interests which exist in the Black Community nationally. For the Advisory Board we would draw on expertise from the Black Psychologists, Sociologists, Engineers, Scientists, Trade Unionists, Clergy, Community Organizers, Cultural Artists, Sports Representatives, Financiers, Agriculturalists, Farmers, Planners, Ecologists, Entertainers, Business, Technologists, Communications Experts, Marketers. This is a tentative list. 
The Role and Responsibilities of the Council of Elders is to be guardians and caretakers of Community Values and Ethics, and to utilize such values to determine policy and procedures, arbitrate or mediate disputes, offer advice and consent on Community Projects, suggest businesses and industries for community development, approve health and education policies and programs, and administrate over Security and Defense (including a War Council and Simba Wachanga Corps)
 
2. Regional and Local Council of Elders
In order to allow for regional and local representation in decisions made on the national level, communications and decision making must flow both ways. Policy made on the National level must take into account local nuances which might allow for modification and proper adjustments on implementation. Also, good ideas, in many cases flow from the base at the local level. According to Dr. Maaskelah Khemet's book on Council of Elders, it would be preferable to build from the local up to the national, but because of critical need, on a national level, we need to install new leaders there to guide the movement of our Youth at this historical juncture.

3. Queen Mother Circle
Women must be fully integrated into every facet of community life and decision making, and therefore the Queen Mother Circle will ensure this process. Additionally, Queen Mother's will and can determine the specific needs of women as workers, farmers, leaders, and Simba (Malaika). The Queen Mother Circle will also advise the COE on matters of policy, and the direction of community building and infra-structure development.

4. War Council
The War Council will have specific duties relating to Security and Defense of our Communities Nationally. Its duties will be to formulate Strategy, Tactics, Training, Crisis Preparation and Response and any potential and/or perceived threat internal or external, to the Peace and Harmony of our communities.The War Council will also be responsible for the establishment of Community Patrolling of our neighborhoods to lesson dependence on Police agencies. It will have Command and Control Responsibilities for the Simba Wachanga, but policy and deployment decisions shall ultimately reside with the COE, to whom the War Council will report to, and from where its funding shall be approved.


5. Simba Wachanga 
Simba Wachanga was the name of the Youth League of Kenya which fought against the illegal occupation of their country by the British. Under the leadership of Pres. Jomo Kenyatta, the Simba were a valiant and valuable force in the Kenyan's peoples fight for Sovereignty, Self-determination and the end to British colonial rule. Like the youth of Soweto, the Simba were organized, disciplined and courageous, and remained true to the Principles of their Revolution. The Simba also have a history in the U.S. during the Black Power Era and maintained many of the characteristics of their namesakes. The Harambee Movement, seeks to use the model established by the Simba as a framework to build a unified Youth Corp for diaspora and continental youth, which gives each a framework to grow and develop to their fullest potential and possibilities as New African Men and Women. The Harambee Movement does not seek to control such a large movement, but rather, chooses to apply a Marcus Garvey model of organizing, which allows formations in each locality to operate independently, but can adopt the name and symbol of the Simba Wachanga Movement, as long as each group subscribes to basic program components and tenets described in the Harambee Format. In the Harambee scenario, the Simba Wachanga Youth Corp will serve as Global Based Rites of Passage Program, incorporating traditional beliefs and practices, modern organising techniques, a common set of African based values and principles, common educational and training modalities, common goals and objectives, and most importantly, common vision and aspirations in building a New and Unified Global Africa.

The following format is a first draft towards this end:  
1. IDEOLOGY, GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 
A. Ideology must be rooted in the basic Pan African Value Systems of Ma'at and the Nguzo Saba of Kwanzaa. These do not replace local values and traditions, but rather, are over arching and like an umbrella of other values, and are ones which unite us on a Pan African level. There will be certain basic points of knowledge each initiate should know, called Maarifa ya Msingi, meaning Basic Knowledge.The Three Ends of Culture – Identity, Purpose and DirectionTwo Basis for Movement – Tradition and ReasonTwo Forms of Analysis – Critique and CorrectiveSeven Criteria for Culture – History, Spirituality/Religion, Political Org, Economic Org. Social Org., Creative Production and Ethos.Kanuni – Rules and/or Protocols of Conduct to be determined and approved by Council of Elders

B. Goals - Our goal is to create a Unified Pan African Youth Movement grounded in African and Diasporan History, committed to Global African Sustainable Development, supporting global African induztries and institutions building, trade and commerce, cultural Fests, building respect for African children, Women and Elders, fostering commitment and dedication to educational achievement in a variety of areas and releasing of the productive forces and apparatus of the Global African Communitywith full force and effect.

C. Objectives
1) To set up cultural centers in every town, city and hamlet, starting out in houses coffee houses and book stores.2) A standardized Harambee curriculum must be completed in order for each Simba to receive a certificate and Simba ID. Mentors may borrow from any curriculum choices for the programmatic emphasis and needs of each locale, though Harambee reserves the right to choose which qualify for a Simba certificate.

(1)RITES OF PASSAGE PROPOSAL: A SUGGESTED CURICULUM

The Rites of Passage should address:
1. Developing a Multi-dimensional Personalitya. learning one of the arts - music, art, poetry, architecture, computer arb. learning African centered spirituality and values training - Maat, Ifa, Dogon, Zulu, Akhan, etc.c. Basic knowledge and understanding of Black History - Kemet, Songhay, Mali,Ghana  Reconstruction, Harlem Renassaince, Black Cultural Revolution, Black Arts Movementd.d. Learning 1 or more African Languages or that POD speak

[2.] Physical developmenta. African Martial arts, Kemetic yoga, meditation,  capoeira, etc.b. routine of running, walking, swimming, hiking, bicycling, etc.c. Survival and Disaster trainingd. Team sport can be a substitute in this area

[3.] Community Orientationa.
Senior escort serviceb. youth corp training curriculum and means of implementation - Pan African Youth Corps; Community Alert Patrol for gangs and drugs.c. participation in political campaigns and/or community organizingd. Regularly scheduled field trips to museums, zoos, plays, park concerts, drives in the country, hiking, camping, bicycling, planetariums, Expos, Family reunionse. Learning Environmental concerns and doing Community Farmingf. Volunteering for the Community Marketplace

[4.] Basic Education and Tutoring.
Science, Math, Language, writing skills proficiencyb. basic intro to African languages and encouragement to learn at least one extra language.c. Science, Math, African centered Architecture, computer technology,d. Maatian governancee. Matching Career choices with needs of the Community

[5.] Social Skillsa. relationship training and orientation with reinforcing ritualsb. sexuality from Afrocentric perspectivec. family skills and orientationd. Communal principles of building community in contemporary societye. Health - Learning how Food is our Medicine

[6] Economic Values  Orientationa. how to develop, follow and evaluate a personal budgetb. understanding the importance of a personal savings programc. practicing collective economic investment and/or wealth-buildingd. triangular development (Africa, Caribbean, Africa America and other Diasporan communities)e. Cooperative Economics orientatationf. Understanding Micro and Macro Economic and Development Planning

[7] Development of Work Habits and Ethicsa. how to plan, use and assess a personal scheduleb. learning to set and accept responsibility for personal prioritiesc. practicing collective decision-making and/or organizingd. Time Management e. Ph
ysical Work out Regimen
{8} Study Abroad. Especially in Africa and the Caribbean

(9) Spiritual Developmenta. Maat, Yoruba, Zulu, Akhan, Dogon, etc.b. wellness, massage, acupuncture, Reiki, meditation Some of the essential goals and objectives here, in my opinion, should be to establish some community standards and expectations for our youth and establish a system of reward and sanctions that reinforce these, and to institute a type of graduation ceremony with progressive African rituals. Copyright@ Simbamaat Consultants
3) For more advanced Simba, a rigorous training regimen must be completed, allowing these candidates to be eligble for Crisis Prevention, Security, Scouts, First Responders, Scholarships, Travel Abroad, Ambassadors, Translators, etc.
4) Learning the Warrior Dances, such as Zulu, Masai, for male and female, is mandatory for each Simba, as it is a symbol of our unified Power, and our capacity to contribute to Human Progress as we grow and develop as a people and global community. It is proposed that this module be coordinated by Harambee in order fto create National and Pan African Dance troupes which can become sustainable in support of Rites of Passage.
5) Simba can be called into National Service on behalf of any Governing entity serviced by Harambee, for such projects involving Agriculture, Infra-structure Development, Roads, Rail, Airports, Bridges, Technology, Science, Engineering, Security and/or Intelligence. In exchange Simba will be eligible to receive Higher Education Credits, employment credits, Enhanced retirement benefit or for travel.Free Breakfast for Children and Health Clinics will be set up in needy communities.Field Trips to be organized for Orphaned Children needing mentors. Gardening Projects to be established in every community.
6) Simba will also be involved in developing Sports Programs, Science and Math Competitions, Language Labs, Chess Tournaments, Study abroad, Interpretors and Translators, Learning Skills Modalities for younger children, Dance Troupes, Griot Programs, Drumming Circles, Astronaut Training, Pilot Training, Navigation and Captain's training. These also can serve as sustainable activities.
7) Leadership Training – This training will prepare students for leadership in specific areas of concern and interest, such as Security and Intelligence, Science (STEM), Finance, Law and Governence, Health/Medicine, Spiritual, Industry and Trade, Economics, Culture/Creative Production, Ethics, Social Development.

2. ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE
In order to maintain the Cultural Significance and Historical Continuity of the Simba Wachanga they should be broken down into African Tribal groupings, e.g. Zulu, Watusi, Masai, Fulani, Bambara, Ashanti, Ndebele. Each member should have familiarity with their tribe and a cursory knowledge of the others in order to build pride in African history. There should be a core group of at least 7 Tribes which have the same names. These groups should be the top tier made up mostly of older youth and those younger who excel quick. Any tribal names can be used for the ones outside the 7 Basic Tribes. Those who graduate to one of the 7 tribes will get more intense training and subject to higher standards of dedication, discipline, sacrifice and achievement. For the youngest initiates, the entry level Tribe will be the Kobi, each of which will be assigned an older mentor.Within the Simba, there will also be interest group associations formed, called Chama for now (A Medu Neter Name will be selected later). At the very least the following are necessary: Kemet; Smai Tawi, Yoruba, STEM, Dogon, Malaika (for young ladies); Drum Circle; Kasisi (Warrior/Priests); Askari (soldier training); Usalama wa Nguvu (Security Force); Mwandishi (scribe or writers); Wasanii (Artists); Singing Chorus; Kilimo (farming); Construction; Business; and other areas as designated by Council of Elders and Queen Mothers. First Responder Team and Crisis Prevention teams should also be formed. Fihankra Simba Wachanga ID Cards will be issued, and upgraded as one progresses through the program.

While each local formation can operate autonomously, if it wishes to be designated Fihankra it must conform to the basic Fihankra format. Any deviation must be approved by the COE or a designate. This, is in order to create Pan African community standards and not to impose an idle conformity. Simba Wachanga will hold an International Conference Bi-Annually, allowing for Regional Conferences to be held in off years. Thus, and in compliance with AU organizational mandates for the 6th Region, the SimbaWachanga will be organized from the bottom up.
1) Block
2) Neighborhood
3) Town/City
4) Region
5) Country/Territory
6) Fihankra Region
7) Internationale
Each tribe will have a Sultani as Chief; Makamu, Asst. Chief; Kasisi az warrior/priest; and a Jeledi (whip or seargent); Each City, Region and Country with have its own Amiri (General), and each of these are accountable to an Amiri directly accountable to Council of Elders.

3. COMMUNICATIONS
Especially, in this age of the internet, social networking and an ever expanding information sources, having an effective and efficient communications system in not only necessary, but mandatory. The Fihankra Simba Wachanga Movement aspires to be the best in the world and will be/become a model for others elsewhere. In order to accomplish this task, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly deadlines will be established in pertinent areas of endeavor, such as Chama Groups, Regional Councils, and the Respective Leadership groups. Having translators and interpreters will be essential in this process. Each regional formation will develop the capacity for at least radio or radio blog capacity, and a written Newsletter to be distributed among their constituents, at least on a Quarterly basis.Essencial Information to be Exchanged is:

A. Harambee/FAU News and Information
B. Regional and local Youth News, activities, seminars, Lectures, Conferences, Festivals, Awards, Training modalities, and Cultural Toursist locations.
C. Educational News – locations, curriculum, scholarships, Fellowships, Internzhips, Job needs and openings in various locales, Schools with the best curriculum to achieve Fihankra needs and aspirations.
D. Ideas and information which will make the Simba Wachanga a better and more responsive institution to the needs of our community (policy, programs and projects).
E. News and Information on each of the Chama Groups and associations and how to further develop their programmatic emphasis.
F. New Kanuni and Protocols
Formats and Platforms for Communication:
A. TV and Internet Streaming
B. Radio and Radio Blogging
C. Podcasts
D. Newletter in
E. Social Media Platforms – one of which will be a designated networking site only for the Global Simba Wachanga Movement.
F. Short Wave Radio – for Emergency and Disaster

4. RESOURCES
A. Financial – Professional Consultants will be sought to advise on start up industriesand businesses Simba can go into, in order to make this Movement entirely sustainable. In the mean time, caps, tee shirts, Simba attire, book marks, book covers, toy dolls, and a range of other marketable items can be used as revenue raising enterprises, and promoted thru the Media Formats.
B. Material – Flatbed trucks to go into communities to do live performances, e.g. skits, plays, spoken word, drum circles, dance, song; Equipment for Crisis and Disaster Control Dispatch and Prevention (PASS to be implemented); microphones, lighting, amplifiers, cameras, phones, tablets, books for libraries; gym equipment for training; computer games to be used for training exercises, Van and Car Pool, Computers, Food for Free Lunch Program, Health monitoring equipment for Clinics; Artists tools, Drums, Material for Zulu Warrior Dance Attire, TV and Radio for Culture Centers; Seeds for seed bank; Gardening materials.

C. Human and Organizational – The Harambee Movement/FAU Men/FAU Congress of African People will hope to collaborate with any existing international, national, Regional and/or local organizations to serve as feeders. Such organizations need not give up their identity or autonomy, but our hope is that they will identify with the Harambee Movement's Simba Wachanga in some meaningful and significant way, such that we can capacity build, and become a real force for change in the Pan African and World Community. We hope to have support from such groups as UNIA, PADU, SDRC, WADU, CARICOM, AU, and Youth groups in each continental and diaspora community where African People inhabit.

Copyright @ Simbamaat Consultants, 2012
Humbly submitted  byMwalimu Kabaila July 2, 2012



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