Welcome to NYSBOTC 

New York State Black Occupational Therapy Caucus 

What is Kwanzaa?

Kwanzaa is the only nationally recognized African-American non-heroic, non-religious, non-political community celebration. It was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga. The name of the holiday is derived from a Swahili phrase "matunda yah kwanza" meaning "first fruits" and much of the holiday features elements of fruitfulness and abundance. Kwanzaa is a 7 day family celebration which begins December 26th through January 1st. Each day relates to a specific theme/principle call Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles). Kwanzaa is a celebration/gathering of African American family as a people, renewing and strengthening the bonds between all Black people as African People. It is meant for all cultures of the African community to celebrate itself as a unified cultural family of one. Kwanzaa promotes the sharing and renewal of peoplehood bonds, which strengthen mutual concern and commitment. Kwanzaa seeks to reaffirm and reinforce those bonds.

NGUZO SABA (The Seven Principles)
Umoja (Unity) - To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)-To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) - To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)-To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Nia (Purpose) - To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Kuumba (Creativity)-To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Imani (Faith) - To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Maulana Karenga

Address: NYSBOTC, PO BOX 110359, CAMBRIA HEIGHTS, NY 11411

Phone: (917) 991-6130


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