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UEF celebrates 28th birthday on March 10

HighlightsUEF celebrates 28th birthday on March 10

by Sista Ya Ya Marin Coleman

United Black Association for Development Educational Foundation (UEF) 28th Anniversary, The Library of Afrikan and Indigenous Studies 24th Anniversary, & The Amandala Newspaper and UBAD 55th Anniversary – Belize/2024

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Mar. 6, 2024

United Black Association for Development Educational Foundation (UEF) is the child of United Black Association for Development (UBAD). UBAD was a Belizean home-grown group of Black Belizean youths and supporters during British colonial rule, who actively nurtured Black consciousness awareness, to empower Afrikan people racialized as Black people in Belize to act in their own self-interest while living under oppressive British imperialist systems. UBAD evolved from a cultural organization to a political party from February 9, 1969 to November, 1974.

The Amandala newspaper was/is the root of communication between UBAD and the wider Belizean communities at home and in the Diaspora. The Amandala newspaper remains the leading newspaper in Belize, thanks to the steadfast support of Belizean people. The Amandala newspaper’s 55th Anniversary is August 13, 2024.

UEF was established 28 years ago, on March 10, 1996, for the education of Black people in Belize, for the liberation of our enslaved and miseducated minds. Our Library of Afrikan and Indigenous Studies, located at 3304 Amandala Drive in Southside Belize City, is UEF’s home base. Our Library was formerly known as the Library of African and Indian Studies. Our Library was a vision of our Ancestor Baba Leroy Taegar, that was realized on February 12, 2000, 24 years ago, with collective community effort.

UEF primarily serves Black people in Afrikan Heritage Communities in Belize City with community engagement programs, speaker visits, solidarity actions glocally, held/holds the Government of Belize (GoB) accountable in the interests of Black Belizeans, hosted awareness campaigns, protested injustices, scheduled media interviews, hosted fund raisers, centered the resistance of Black Belizeans 1919 Revolution, organized Afrikan Emancipation Day & Afrikan Reparations Day March, and submitted articles to the Amandala newspaper to spotlight UEF’s advocacy and activism.

4 Black Belizeans who have participated in UEF community actions over the past 28 years, shared how UEF activities have impacted them:

Shariff “Zuberi” Smith, 10 years, avid reader:

“Breddah Cliff Augustine and United Black Association for Development Educational Foundation (UEF) Summer Youth Film Photography Camp makes children visit other places in Belize, we take pictures of places we have never been to before, and we sell our pictures for hundreds of dollars. The person who makes the most profit from selling their pictures gets a disposable camera. Both last year and this year I won that prize.”

Imani Neal, 13 years, high school student:

“When I first joined Breddah Cliff Augustine and United Black Association for Development Educational Foundation (UEF) Summer Youth Film Photography

Camp, I was 12 years old, I was shy, and afraid. I did not know anyone there, but when I reached I met the most amazing people who took the time to teach me something that I did not know about manual cameras, and taking pictures. Now that I am in the program and have entered high school, the lessons I learned in Summer Camp has helped me to stand up and speak up, no matter who like it or not. I am glad that I went to the Summer Camp, because I learned how to have respect for myself, my family, and my community. So, I glad I took the chance.”

Sistah Maianda Griffith, 24 years, crocheter and singer:

“I’d say UEF has helped me to be more bold in what I want to say. Be unapologetic and true to my identity. Helped me to discover myself in order to inspire others to do the same. I have learned to accept my authentic self.”

Breddah Ronald Stuart, 57 years, property manager:

“UEF has been consistent in addressing issues, sometimes like ‘a lone voice in the wilderness.’ I like the stance taken particularly when ‘development projects’, public building spaces were conceptualized without any meaningful consultation for our (tax payers) input. Nothing for us, without us.”

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