Council of Elders - Membership Announcement

About the Role

The Council of Elders are a unique entity of the Umoja Community Education Foundation and are revered by the organization. The Council of Elders are charged with maintaining the spirit of the Umoja Community by providing wise counsel as needed. The spirit of Umoja refers to the Ethic of Love on which the organization was founded. It is central to the teaching philosophy of Umoja practitioners and serves as a reminder to consider the needs of the students first and foremost. Members of the Council of Elders serve the community through sharing their knowledge, exercising diplomacy and performing rituals as requested. Members of the Council of Elders are committed to and embrace the mission, vision, values and practices of the Umoja Community Education Foundation.

Council of Elders Membership Qualifications:

Membership on the Council of Elders shall begin by completing the Umoja Council of Elders Membership Application. Applications are accepted and reviewed annually in the fall. Viable candidates, as determined by current members of the Council of Elders, are invited to participate in an initiation process lasting no more than 30 days whereby members: (1) are steeped in knowledge of African-centered ways of being and knowing (e.g., Nguzo Saba and Seven Principles of Ma’at), (2) learn to design and perform rituals and other ceremonial practices, and (3) learn the importance of and the appropriate role of an elder as outlined in the Umoja Principles of Eldership (see Appendix).

Umoja elders must be at least 55 years of age and also meet one or more of the following qualifications:

1. Must have worked as an Umoja coordinator or instructor for a minimum of five years.

2. Must have served as an Umoja Board member for a minimum of two terms.

3. A teacher/philosopher/educator who has been trained in African-centered pedagogy, wisdom and thought.

Appointment to Council of Elders:

Upon the successful completion of each phase of the initiation process, candidates must demonstrate their knowledge and understanding by designing and conducting a ritual, for demonstration purposes only, in front of an audience of Umoja Elder Council members. Candidates then become members of the Council of Elders by a majority vote of the current members of the Council of Elders and must also receive a majority vote of the Umoja Board of Directors.

How to Apply:

To indicate your interest in the position, please complete and submit the application using this link. For consideration, the application must be submitted by Friday, October 6th. Review of all applications will begin immediately.