Imagine yourself listening to a political refugee from Hmong descent — now a professor at California State University, Fresno teaching Hmong language — sharing his journey as he escaped the war zone from his native country of Laos? Or walking through an artistically interactive gallery having conversation with religious leaders and cultural practitioners from the Punjab community learning about their living traditions, cuisine and history? Or the opportunity to reflect back on your own community by conducting a community assessment? These and other life-lasting experiences is what I gathered as alumni of the Tamejavi Cultural Organizing Fellowship Program. Now, the opportunity is yours to be part of Temejavi — a festival once recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, “Tamejavi Festival has become an essential part of life in the Central Valley, bringing to light the rich, diverse culture that makes up this region”– through the Tamejavi Cultural Organizing Fellowship Program.
The Tamejavi Cultural Organizing Fellowship Program (TCOFP) was launched in the fall of 2011, TCOFP is a fellowship program designed to strengthen the cultural organizing skills of Central Valley’s emerging cultural leaders from underserve communities. Ten cultural leaders will be selected to participate in TCOFP second cycle starting April 2014 ending October 2015. Selected fellows will learn the basic principles of popular education, participatory action research, and cultural organizing. They are also provided with resources to inspire the collective artistic and cultural creativities within and beyond their own communities.
Throughout the fellowship program I deepened my understanding of different ways to organize the community, primary using the culture and the arts. I also became familiar with principles and values of Popular Education. All my learning allowed me to become not only capable of brining people together and building consensus but also geared the conversation with my working team in a way it allowed them to participate actively and becoming catalyst of our working team’s project. The outcome of two-year of arduous work I was able together with my working team to organize an outdoor theater performance in Madera, California. More then five hundred people came to experience the lively and colorful Fandango Zapateco. More information on Fandango Zapoteco and other festivals done by other Fellows please visit: https://tamejavifellows.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/fandango-zapoteco-is-next-in-madera/visit:https://tamejavifellows.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/fandango-zapoteco-is-next-in-madera/
Be part of Tamejavi fellowship program. You will learn, understand and hopefully appreciate the ethnically diverse California’s Central Valley. You will be exposed to other cultures far from yours, exchange conversation with people who might share your community vision, and above all, become part of this ongoing effort to support and promote cultural and civic citizenry participation in Central Valley. Deadline for self-nomination or to nominate someone is fast approaching (Feb. 15) for more information please contact Estela Galvan at (559) 222,7678 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aspiring Tamejavi Fellows candidates are individuals who are:
- Open to learning new and creative organizing strategies
- Committed to community work yet are not already overcommitted to other community activities, given the 18-month program commitment
- Understand and values popular education principles such, building collective learning for social change, and is committed to making the Central Valley a more just and democratic place.
- Particularly concern in the cultural and artistic life of their community plus understand and value Central Valley cultural diversities
- Able to understand the daily issues in the community and also have a larger vision
- Able to make links and connections between people, places, organization
- Able to ensure that the issues of the community are addressed
- Bring people together
How Tamejavi Fellows Get Selected?
Aspiring candidates are nominated by a group of Pan Valley Institute partners who have a depth knowledge and understanding of our work plus share the core principles and goals of TCOFP. The nominations are submitted to a selection committee for a thoroughly review and the selection of 15 semifinalists. The semifinalists are then invited to submit a personal statement and to participate in person meetings with members of the selection committee. For the last stage the selection committee meets to review the personal statements, debrief on the in person meetings and select the TCOFP 2014 – 2015 cohort of fellows.
What fellows Gain by Participating in TCOFP?
Tamejavi Fellows get the opportunity to engage in a process of popular education with immigrant leaders from diverse ethnic communities. They get to learn from each other, share experiences, knowledge and participate in cultural exchanges. TCOFP also offer fellows opportunities to practice what they learned for example community engagement forming a learning group. In collaboration with their learning group fellows will conduct a community assessment and cultural inventory to gain a better understanding of pressing concerns, collective cultural assets, and the impact of migration and displacement on individuals, families, and cultures in their community. Fellows and their learning groups also receive capacity and resources for the production of public cultural projects to mobilize local capacities and address common concerns.