We believe that maintaing culture, and engaging in meaningful dialogue is the fastest path towards healing. 

 It is our vision to develop the multi-ethnic expressive arts program so that the multi ethnic cultural center becomes a safe haven for self-expression and for dialogue between communities. 

This will connect the highly varied ethnic groups who are coming to the greater Boston area as refugees, and connect these groups to the Americans who live in the area and whom have little to no understanding of these newcomer groups.

BCCRD holds events through the MECC program on a bi-monthly basis.

Check out or events page for more information.  

 

Mission statement of MECC

The MECC program is designed to bridge the gap between original culture and the adopted culture. It will educate the newcomers, refugees, immigrant and the community towards cultural competence. It will also create enthusiasm among participants to fulfill the responsibility to preserve the culture heritage. It will also provide space for cultural demonstrations and performances.

Multiethnic Cultural Center – as imagined by the BCCRD, Inc.'s team – will be a space where relevant questions regarding the refugee experience will be addressed, discussed and expressed through art and culture. Intercultural dialogue, empowerment, indigenous crafts, meaningful connections

Cross-cultural Development

BCCRD, Inc. works to strengthen and further develops MECC program by creating a safe arena for self-expression and a place where the refugees can develop their cross-cultural, intercultural, leadership and communication skills. Our research has shown that creative expression and physical movement are strong therapeutic tools for dealing with trauma and building self-esteem.

The refugee populations to whom we provide assistance have a strong tradition of expressive arts, thus we intend to utilize these various traditions as a common base for community building and self-expression.

 A multi-ethnic expressive arts program, such as MECC, will utilize the strengths of creative individuals within the community to teach others new skills.

By utilizing their strengths and giving them space for expression within forums, workshops, classes, and events, they will be overcoming obstacles in the process of adjustment and work on development of English skills, financial education, get educated about symptoms of trauma with the ultimate goal of self-empowerment.

For many low income and working class members, especially women, this program will offer the opportunity to take on leadership roles under our guidance and mentorship. This will in turn provide them with social skills and self-awareness which they will be able to use in their search for job and/or at their workplace.

We set up workshops to teach individuals how to play musical instruments, how to paint or draw, and the art of traditional dances from all over the world and provide an arena to express individual skills.

Our goal is to have our refugees take on roles of teachers of the traditional skills that they have and thus change the power balance within the community with the oversight of BCCRD, Inc.

These activities carried out under the expressive arts program that will provide a means of connection for the various ethnic groups, connecting and strengthening the refugee community within the greater Lynn area, and crossing the grey zone of anxiety between the Lynn community and these refugee groups.

 

Empowering Refugees through Expressive Art

MECC seeks not only to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to refugees, but also to empower people by recognizing and celebrating the unique skills and passions of individuals and groups in our community.

It is our belief that such empowerment ensures that while providing services, we are also building self-esteem, communication, and leadership skills, which will in turn ease the process of acculturation.

It is our vision to develop the multi-ethnic expressive arts program so that the cultural center becomes a safe haven for self-expression and for dialogue between communities.

This will connect the highly varied ethnic groups who are coming to the greater Boston area as refugees, and connect these groups to the Americans who live in the area and whom have little to no understanding of these newcomer groups.


MECC Programs and Events

Over the last year we have held a variety of events as a part of our MECC program. We hope to continue those events while also introducing new activities to reach a broader range of individuals and ultimately the development of a physical space.

MECC distinguishes both concrete results and broader effects within the community. We will continue our Cultural Evenings events, with 5 cultural presentations and a large community event.

Cultural presentations help provide the local community and our service providers with a deeper understanding of the cultures of our service population. This helps enhance cultural sensitivity and effectiveness of local services and businesses.

These outcomes of identifying leadership from within the community and increasing knowledge about, and attendance to, the cultural center, will allow the center to become a space for different cultures to meet and to express themselves.

We believe that this initiative will provide a needed space for inter cultural sharing and become a resource for local environment. It is also important to note that since most program events will take place after school and on the weekends, the times when youth are most likely to be unsupervised and subsequently exposed to negative situations, we are aiding the youth of this community in finding more constructive means of expressing themselves.

The broad outcomes are thus to engage the community in a dialogue, prevent youth violence, and to ease or prevent depression and risk behaviors with victims of trauma.


Ongoing Programs:

1. The ongoing series of cultural evenings “Learn your World, Learn your Neighborhood” that aim to help community members and social service providers better understand the history, culture, and capabilities of local refugee populations.

2. The traditional dance company from Bhutan. Through dance young women from Bhutan of Nepali origin express themselves, celebrate and preserve their indigenous culture.

3. The folk dancing company from Bosnia-Herzegovina KUD Boston Sevdah which celebrates traditions and culture from their native land.

Language Schools

The Nepali Language School for young children from Bhutan

The Bosnian Language School for young children from Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as Americans interested in learning Bosnian language

Intercultural Fairs

“Expressive Dialogue” is an evening full of cultural and artistic expressions of refugees from Bhutan of Nepali origin, Iraq, Sudan, Somali, Bosnia, Albania and artists from the United States of America.

KUD “Boston sevdah”

KUD “Boston sevdah” is a voluntary folk dancing program that allows people from Bosnia and Herzegovina to maintain their spirit of storytelling and tradition of verbal expression accompanied with folk dancing and music.

KUD has four major groups:

a) Children’s group

b) Teens group

c) Young adults group

d) First women’s group

It is designed as a Sunday and an after school program. In this way, the program allows children and teens to have a safe place to come to and use their language in communication with each other. Older groups have the opportunity to share their stories and organize community events thus alleviating a sense of longing for their homeland. Every group has its leader who is elected by the group. The Organizing Committee of 10 members runs KUD.

Members of KUD “Boston sevdah” are required to:

1. Have membership cards

2. Pay their annual fees,

3. Come regularly to practice,

4. Help with events organization and in other ways participate in the life of the community.

5. Respect rules of BCCRD, Inc.

KUD “Boston sevdah” has had over 40 public performances and received great recognitions for their work.

“IZVOR”

“Izvor” is a community newsletter. It is a psycho-educational tool and allows members of the community to voice their concerns and learn about laws, health issues and services in their new homeland. It is published quarterly in English and Bosnian with articles featuring events in other Balkan’s groups. First issue of “Izvor” was published in 2006.

Bosnian language school

BLS was organized to serve children ages 7-16. A professional teacher was engaged to run classes. It is an after school program for children who are obliged to come to class regularly, do homework and follow classroom discipline. They are also obliged to speak in Bosnian language while at the classes.

For the “Heritage” Program, BCCRD, Inc. does not receive any public funding. This program depends on donations, fees and contributions from our collaborating Agencies.