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African American Holiday Association

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness

Mission: AAHA started in 1989 after years of educating the public about Kwanzaa and the factors in all holidays that affect Black people and the society at large. AAHA has since used holidays, celebrations and rituals for social change, cultural enrichment and youth crime prevention. AAHA has provided education and services on the local, national and international level regarding Kwanzaa, the cultural, economic and health impact of Holidays and conscious-raising around holidays, celebrations and rituals. Our Youth Entrepreneur Project called YEP offers anti-crime prevention activities for ages 9-21 assisting over 800 enterprising youth. AAHA technical assistance for organizations and individuals to use holidays, celebrations and rituals for social change, has assisted in the organization of numerous marches, demonstrations, special events and programs, notably the Million Women March, the Million Family March, Stand for Children, Right to Health Day (April's Fools Day), Martin L. King Holiday, Juneteenth, etc. AAHA has also founded several commemorative holidays, Black Love Day (Feb. 13); Unity in Diversity Day (1st Sat in May), Ancestor Honor Day (last Mon. in May) and founded/produces the African American Holiday Expo, the oldest, East-Coast celebration of Christmas and Kwanzaa since 1982.

Programs: We offer local, national and international media campaigns on holidays, celebrations and rituals; educational services through workshops, lectures and storytelling; technical assistance in community organizing, public relation campaign development, special event management and cultural competence; also holiday related services creating cultural holidays,celebrations and rituals , i.e., officiating cultual holiday celebrations, rites of passage, libations and wedding rites. Founder/director Ayo Handy Kendi is primary staff member serving as a consultant paid through services offered. Volunteers assist in the operation of this small non-profit which has affected thousands through its broad out-reach, special events and commemorative days.

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