United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. (UVCC)
Founded in April of 2006, United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. (UVCC) a non-profit organization with a tax exempt status under section 501 (c) (3) is dedicated to fostering progressive self-esteem, pride, dignity, self-respect and introspection throughout the African American community.
Recognizing that negative lyrics, scripts, dialog and scenes which enter the human ears and sight has a negative effect on the human mind and in of itself lends to a debilitating, self-defeating image hereby declares censorship on the use of the n-word by African Americans.
The Amour Propre Charter
We, concerned, self-respecting African Americans, declare for all of America to know that…
WHEREAS it is recognized that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech it is our aim to persuade that this right is exercised with common sense and due diligence relative to internal issues encompassing the African
AND WHEREAS it is recognized that non-blacks use the n-word…the focus of attention will be on African American users of the word…it is a matter of self-respect, dignity, honor and pride that all African Americans refrain from such conduct, practice and usage. To demand respect you must first respect yourself.
AND WHEREAS it is in the best interest of the African American community to preserve its rich and rewarding history it will now be considered an abomination to show disrespect and mockery to the brave and courageous deeds of those who participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Freedom Riders, Mississippi Burning, Bloody Sunday (Selma, AL), Sit-ins, Foot-Soldiers, the Harriett Tubmans, Christopher Attucks, Frederick Douglas, Marcus Garvey, Jackie Robinson and many others whom all were denigrated with the n-word…by now taking that very same word embracing it and using it endearingly and affectionately.
AND WHEREAS it is recognized that a positive self-image and a positive self-concept are essential to the growth, development and self-fulfillment of the African-American people and that the continual internal usage of the n-word is counter-productive in this regard.
AND WHEREAS it is recognized that there are elements existing within the American society that seems to have a hands on approach to establishing standards and imagery of African Americans that’s not in the best interest of the Black community cannot and will not continue to be tolerated.
AND WHEREAS it is recognized that there are those African Americans who compromises their values by allowing themselves to be portrayed in a demeaning and degrading fashion i.e. actors, actresses, rappers, comedians will henceforth answer to the wrath of all self-respecting African Americans. No longer is it going to be acceptable that you allow yourselves to be used as a tool to undermine the black community.
AND WHEREAS it is recognized that there are conflicting stories about the origin of the n-word there is nothing conflicting about its 400-year-old history symbolizing slavery and Black oppression and the psychological forces at play that leads to the death of the mind, body and spirit of African Americans.
AND WHEREAS it is recognized that institutional racism, racial discrimination is alive and well in America it is also recognized that the pulse beat of black fratricide — physically and mentally—should not and will not any longer be ignored or acceptable as a way of life in the Black community.
United Voices for a Common Cause (UVCC) pledges to not use the n-word as we strive toward cultural integrity and mutual respect for all Americans and to offer uncompromising resistance to social forces and structures which deny or limit our ability to do so; to promote racial harmony, self-respect, pride and dignity affirming the highest of standards and values for our communities.
The Reaffirmation of the Code of Conduct For The Black National Community
Mind: Control what you allow to enter your mind. We should continue to be very selective about what we allow into our eye gate, ear gate and our heart gate. For whatever goes into us will certainly come out of us (e.g. types of conversations, movies, music, thoughts about self and others that look like you).
- Words: Remember that every word that you speak has a purpose. Therefore, we must be very careful about what comes out of our mouths. Therefore, we must ensure that our words towards one another must always seek to encourage, challenge, support, build – up, empower, define, strengthen, respect, create value, be prophetic, be directional, inspirational, loving, compassionate, strong, prideful, honest, understanding, historically correct, honoring, instructional, maternal, paternal and caring.
- Know Ones Own History: We must immerse ourselves into our historical past! One cannot be oppressed in ones mind if he/she understands their greatness. The education of self and culture will truly emancipate the individual to the point that he/she will not continue to buy into self-destructive behaviors or beliefs. This is the only true legacy that we can pass onto the next generation. It is also the only way to build a future generation that will stand on its own in every aspect of human existence.
- Environment/ Community: We must be one hundred percent cognizant of the fact that we are responsible for our own community’s success and direction. Therefore, we can no longer accept any activity and or behavior that do not reflect well on our community’s image, welfare, morale code or our political, economical, physical, social, and spiritual condition of our overall environment. Our communities need to always reflect a sense of pride, safety, beauty, family, order, loyalty, enterprise / commerce and above all the dignity of its inhabitants.
- Family: We will continue to demonstrate our commitment to family. The traditional family, single parent family, maternal /paternal grandparents family, community / village family and the overall Black family. We will continue to pass on to each other and certainly the next generations possess the following characteristics: integrity, rigorous work ethic, self-determination, accountability, responsibility, pride of ownership, strategic/critical thinking for planning and organization, communicative, articulate, trustworthiness, dependable and preparedness.
- Economics: We will continue to follow in the footsteps of those before us and develop business enterprises that support our community and the world. This will be in the form of entrepreneurial ventures and inventions. This will be a viable part of the infrastructure in the black community that will cause it to be strong and vibrant.
Education: We must ensure that our school systems reflect the essence of who we are, as Americans of African descent who are survivors, so that our children grow up with a very high sense of self and purpose. We must continue to demonstrate the high value of education and self-knowledge to our children by ensuring that we are involved in every aspect of their educational journey (elementary, middle school, high school, college and graduate school). This would also include all trade schools and other types of formal/informal education. We must understand that our gifts are all different; therefore we must seek, then find another path that fits our purpose.
- Spiritual: We must continue to follow God’s direction for our lives. However, we will not allow this critical area of our lives to divide us. We will work from a base of mutual respect for one another and allow the truth to prevail. We must vow that nothing will separate us from building each other up.
- Relationships: We will continue to demonstrate our highest respect for one another in all of our interactions, as a people. Especially in our marriages, one-on-one relationships, business relationships, friendships, courtships, dating relationships, work relationships, social relationship and spiritual relationships. We must teach that we should expect from one another-- honor, self-respect, truthfulness, dignity, compassion, understanding, flexibility, commitment, forgiveness, stability and overall emotional health! Finally, we must ensure that we continue to teach the next generation about their precious “Body Temples” – so that we reduce the risk of limiting their overall life expectancy! For we know, that we cannot enhance the next generation without properly planting a fertile seed.
- Health: Without good health it is very difficult to build a nation! Therefore, we must become more aware of what we put into our bodies/temples. We will provide our bodies with nutrients that enhance the quality and the longevity of our lives. This also includes not jeopardizing our safety or well being, by exposing ourselves to a high-risk environment or situation. We will ensure that we have annual medical and dental check ups and that we are exercising on a regular basis to strengthen our minds and bodies. We will reduce and or eliminate foods that do not have any nutritional value (especially those we feed our children). We will supplement our diets with all natural vitamins appropriate for our particular phase in life’s journey.
- Voting: We must all be registered to vote (age appropriate)! A People that are disconnected from the political process are powerless. Our fore – fathers/mothers died so that we would be able to participate in the political process. If we are able to help establish the laws and elect lawmakers that govern this Nation, then we are able to make the types of significant contributions that affect our well being
The overall Code of Conduct for our National Black Community is simply to love, honor and respect one another! In so doing, we will cease from using the infamous “n” word and all other words that add no value to our human existence! It has been said that whatever goes into the heart of a person will certainly come out of that person. It is our belief that if this framework for a Code of Conduct is implemented and lived, it will revolutionize and restore what was taken away from us, as a people, some 400 plus years ago! There is nothing greater in this life than to awaken one day to find that you have realized and fulfilled your purpose/destiny and have left an enormous mark (a legacy) for those who are left, to build upon.
Written by: Ronald Shirley
Respectfully submitted April of 2006 by the Governing Board of the United Voices for a Common Cause (UVCC, Inc.)