Category Archives: History

History of TTCAD

History of Trinidad & Tobago Cultural Association of Delaware (TTCAD)

 

Ground Breaking

The year was 1999 and both the State of Delaware and the City of Wilmington were planning their year 2000 millennium celebrations as most cities and States. Out of such planning was born the Delaware Multicultural Education Council (DMEC), which brought together over twenty cultures from across the State, to present cultural programs so as to improve understanding among the diverse citizens of Delaware. DMEC, under the leadership of Chan Lee Pow, invited citizens from Trinidad & Tobago living in Delaware, to participate as one of Delaware’s cultures at the State’s Tall Ships 1999 extravaganza. The acceptance of DMEC’s invitation resulted in citizens from Trinidad & Tobago coming together and presenting various aspects of their country’s culture at the Tall Ships’ International Pavilion set up for DMEC. The working relation established at the Tall Ships’ International Pavilion in 1999 by these immigrants, was the ground-breaking act that brought together Delaware residents who migrated from Trinidad & Tobago.

The Foundation

Although an official operating structure and official name were not considered until 2006, the foundation for Trinidad & Tobago Cultural Association of Delaware (TTCAD) began taking hold from 1999 when families who migrated from Trinidad & Tobago came together to participate in DMEC’s cultural education programs. In addition, these families produced and presented annually, Trinidad & Tobago style carnival in the City of Wilmington, supported by family and friends from New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington and Canada. The teamwork from 1999 by the following families, was very influential in establishing the foundation which allowed TTCAD’s emergence. These families included: Hinds, Lee Pow, Lord, Ryan, Simpson, and Wilson. 

 

The Emergence

After operating under an unofficial name of Trinidad & Tobago Culture from 1999, participating mainly in DMEC’s cultural education programs and the City of Wilmington celebrations, the participating families worked with the necessary State & Federal authorities to officially establish a nonprofit {501 c (3)} operating structure. Thus emerged Trinidad & Tobago Cultural Association of Delaware (TTCAD) in 2006. Bonding of Leadership The period from 1999 to 2004 requires notable mention, since during that period the Trinidad & Tobago Cultural group, now officially called TTCAD, participated in events and programs that had great significance in the State of Delaware and strengthened teamwork among members.

 

Bonding of Leadership

These events and programs hosted mainly by DMEC with support from the communities; corporations; the Cities of Wilmington and Dover; and the State, included the following accomplishments by the Trinidad & Tobago Cultural group:

A. Recognized as a leading participant in the DMEC theatrical stage presentation titled “Cultural Tapestry” which raised $6,000 for the Red Cross.

B. Contributed cultural-education material of Trinidad & Tobago to two study guides which were distributed to Delaware schools. These study guides were prepared by DMEC in partnership with the State of Delaware Department of Education.

C. Participated and presented under DMEC’s cultural education programs, various aspects of Trinidad & Tobago culture. These DMEC programs were held at every major theatre and venue in the State of Delaware and were attended by over seven thousand students.

 

Journey after Official Formation

After receiving approval in 2006 from the Federal Government to operate as a nonprofit with 501 C (3) status, focusing on supporting education and charitable causes, TTCAD embarked on fulfilling its mission in Delaware, Trinidad & Tobago and other communities/countries requiring support. Since its official formation and through its fund-raising efforts which required a high level of commitment from Board members and supporting volunteers, the following are some of TTCAD’s achievements:

I. Provided thousands of dollars as university scholarships to children of Caribbean parentage fromBarbados, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts/Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago, etc. (refer TTCAD website: www.ttcad.org.

II. Donated to Haitian relief through John Hopkins Hospital and the American Red Cross.

III. Donated to Ronald McDonald, Adopt-a-Family and others.

IV. Provided awards and educational tools to students from schools in Trinidad & Tobago.

 

Management

As a nonprofit with an all volunteer Board, and like any Federally approved nonprofit allowed by the IRS to operate for the benefit of and ownership by the public, TTCAD has experienced the movement of incoming and departing Board members. The rotation of Board members may be viewed by some as unhealthy for any business. However, such a rotation process is natural and more beneficial than detrimental. Movement of Board members allows for: (1) the introduction of new ideas, (2) a review and possible improvement of past practices by a fresh set of eyes, (3) compliance with Federal nonprofit laws, and (4) others. TTCAD’s successes from 1999 to 2010 were possible because of the following families who unselfishly volunteered their time, effort and resources to serve on the Board, some of whom are on the current Board: Agard, Berkeley-Ayres, Briggs, Charles, Hinds, Kirton, Lee Pow, Lord, Mitchell, Ryan, Simpson, Smart-Preston, and Wilson.

 

The Future

With a mission focused mainly toward education of Caribbean youth as approved by the Federal government, TTCAD’s success to date as witnessed at its 9/25/10 Scholarship Gala, is a testament of the reputation it has built with its supporters, sponsors, donors, and all others who are interested in youth development through higher education. TTCAD’s leadership is committed to the success of TTCAD’s mission, and makes every effort to manage TTCAD’s business with transparency and full accountability. There is an old saying: “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.” TTCAD is making every effort to ensure that the minds of our youth are not wasted. With continued support from its supporters, sponsors, donors, and all others who are interested in youth development through higher education, TTCAD will continue to make a difference in the lives of many.

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TTCAD’s Core Values

The core values of TTCAD are the cornerstone of what TTCAD is and what TTCAD expects. These values are:

Highest ethical behavior

a. We conduct TTCAD’s business affairs to the highest ethical standards and will proactively comply with all applicable laws and TTCAD bylaws.

b. We work diligently to ensure that TTCAD remains a respected nonprofit citizen as authorized by the US Government/IRS.

Accountability

a. To fulfill TTCAD’s mission as a public organization, owned by the public and operated for the benefit of the public, we conduct TTCAD’s business affairs in ways that ensure transparency, full accountability and the highest level of integrity (refer some definitions below).

b. We monitor, update and implement appropriate controls and processes to ensure TTCAD maintains the highest level of credibility with the public and the Government bodies.

Loyalty, Independence & Mutual Respect

a. We conduct TTCAD’s business with full loyalty to TTCAD’s goals, objectives and mission in compliance with all laws, making decisions or taking positions acceptable to TTCAD as a nonprofit.

b. We conduct TTCAD’s business by applying the principles of independence and objectivity, valuing the benefits derived from diverse independent opinions.

c. We foster an environment in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity, sharing ideas, skills and talents for the realization of TTCAD’s objectives.

Definitions:

1. Transparency“Openness/honest” and “Uninhibited/Free” exchange of information in all communication and accountability. Transparent procedure/processes include open meetings, full disclosure at all times, budgets, audits, meeting minutes available to the public, etc. (i.e. A transparent object is one that can be seen through).

2. Full Accountability – The state of being accountable; liability to be called on to render an account; the obligation to accept the responsibility for failure to perform as expected.