Requests for Funds to Support Research and for other purposes

Here requests for grants to conduct research are particularly welcome. The Foundation has no specific requirements for the structure of such a request other than that it should include a project description (specifying the what, where, when, who, how, why of each project), the proposed duration of the grant (i.e. when will it begin and when will it end), a detailed budget, and a statement dealing with the competence of the researcher or project director to successfully complete the project. The BLAC foundation is presently offering an annual award of $500 for research in fields it deems of interest. To qualify for funding an applicant must submit a paper to which (if acceptable) will be posted under “papers submitted”. The grant recipient will receive $350 to conduct the research (as described in his/her application). In order to receive the remaining $150 the applicant must submit a paper (within one year after the completion of the research) dealing with the results of the project for which the award was made. His/her paper will be posted under papers submitted and the applicant will receive the title of “blacfellow” (for which see definitions) and become elgible for all privilidges thereof. The winner of this years award (2011 – 2012) was Lacouir Yancey who conducted research on Capoeira in Bahia, Brazil. All requests for funds should be emailed to:, or hard copies can be mailed to:

Ed Powe
8 Pope Road
Paterson, NJ 07514

1. Society of Betsileo Artists of Imady

“SABI (Society of Betsileo Artists of Imady) was created in 2017 with the help of the BLAC Foundation in order to encourage 6 young artists to utilize their artistic skills and  help them earn money. Their first project was the production of 20 umlabalaba boards and they are now in the process of making boards for fanorana, the national board game of Madagascar.”

The BLAC  Foundation recently awarded mini-scholarships to two of the SABI artists appearing in the photo so that they can continue to pursue their schooling. We wish them both good luck.

2. The C.A.R. Trust of Meenakshipatti, Tamil Nadu, India

The C.A.R. (Children & Adolescents Reconstruction) Trust was founded by V. Erulan on July 12 th, 2007 in Meenakshipatti (Madurai District, Tamil Nadu, India) to raise funds for its various programs that have been in operation for the past five years. Erulan and some ten associates have been working with approximately 300 children and adolescents in Meenakshipatti and neighboring villages to: 1) instill in them a zeal for academic learning; 2) help develop their bodies and minds; and 3) otherwise prepare them for productive roles in adulthood.

Among the programs presently offered are training in: 1) yoga (to promote health, longevity, and concentration, as well as to unify body and mind; 2) silambam (Tamil stick-fighting) and karate to build courage and self confidence; 3) drama and dance; 4) academic tuition; and 5) other mind-building activities.

[Some children of Meenakshipatti playing Zulu Chess]

All these offerings are provided free of charge and the teachers receive no financial remuneration for their services.

Funding is currently being sought to help the children of the communities of Meenakshipatti and neighboring villages to acquire school supplies and uniforms as well as assistance in the payment of school fees all of which total a mere $40 a year per child.

Those interested in sponsoring a child or otherwise help the CAR Trust realize its noble aims should contact V. Erulan

s/o V. Veeranan

2/104 K. Meenakshipatti ( East Street)

Vadapalanji (Post)

Thirumangalam (T.K.)

Madurai (Dt)

Pin – 625 021

Tamil Nadu


He can also be contacted by e-mail at: or

Or by mobile telephone at either 9942241826 or 9942542343

[ Donations: On January 16 th, 2008, the CAR Trust was given the sum of $40 by Edward Powe, on behalf of the BLAC Foundation, in order to better pursue its work with the children of Meenakshipatti. In January 2009, the BLAC Foundation donated an additional $60 to CAR to pursue its aims. At its August 15th , 2010 meeting the BLAC Foundation Board of Directors  voted to award $100 a year to the CAR Foundation for the next five years, of which $250 has already been delivered. See the Meenakshipatti Photo Gallery for a better idea of what the village looks like.]

3. O Grupo de Capoeira Libertação

O Grupo de Capoeira Libertação is a non-profit NGO (non-governmental organization) composed of young practitioners of the art of Capoeira. Founded in the year 2000 by Jeremias José Ferreira (alias Pitinhas), the group’s instructor. The organization has as its major objective the promotion of Capoeira, the reduction of delinquency, and the molding of youth into confident self-respecting citizens of Mozambique who will hopefully make a positive contribution to society and the progress of the nation.  The group presently serves over 125 youths in 6 different locations (see the article Capoeira Libertação under papers submitted / black martial arts for details) and is currently planning a series of events and workshops designed to instill pride and self esteem in orphans and other marginalized youths.

The cost of the program per child is approximately $35 for three events and it is deemed money well spent (see further information and a detailed budget in the aforementioned article). For those interested in funding one or more children (see additional photos in our Capoeira Libertação photo gallery) please feel free to contact Jeremias José Ferreira (Pintinhas) at (note that there is an underscore between capoeira and libertacao). He can also be reached by telephone at either  845015365 or 824115984. The mailing address is:

Jeremias José Ferreira
Avenida Maguiguana
Predio #110, 2 andar
Maputo, Mozambique

The BLAC Foundation has contributed generously to this group on numerous occasions, the latest donation being $150 for its Quilombo Project.

4. Trovoada da Paz

According to Zeca Jose Chirindza Paulo,  this dance group from Mozambique was founded in 1992. immediately after the war agianst colonial Portugal,  by his grandparents who fought as guerillas. Zeca, himself, entered the group at the age of four, when his father (Jose Batista Scherindza) was its head. In 2010 Zeca replaced his father as group leader which by then did a new kind of Xigubo complete with war songs in Shangani and Zulu.  The group (which can be seen on three of our videos)  presently consists of 9 males and 7 females and is in search of a  patron  (sponsor) to enable them to demonstrate their skills to a wider audience. Zeca can be contacted by phone in Maputo at 842580945 or 825551799. The group received a  contribution from the BLAC Foundation in 2010 to repair instruments and buy additional uniforms.

5. Afro- Cultura Gabu

Is a group of griot musicians from Gabu, Guinea-Conakry whose objective is to preserve and promote traditional music. In 2013, the BLAC Foundation purchased two drums (a dramma and a djembe) for the group and also gave them sufficient funds to make at least 2 koras. With these instruments, the group is now able to schedule performances both in Gabu and to any other place where they may be invited. We have already posted 2 videos of the group and filmed many more, several of which will be posted soon.

6. Mbundi Art School Project

In 2011, Miguel Mbundi (a Makonde artist from Mozambique) requested start-up funds for art materials to teach six students the rudiments of art for 3 months. Realizing the value of this project the BLAC Foundation purchased said material and instruction followed. Although the project did not last the full three months due to transportation problems, the 6 children, nevertheless, learned a great deal and produced some remarkable pieces of work.

7. Umlabalaba Tournaments

In order to promote African Culture and to develop increased cognitive skills in participants, the BLAC Foundation has funded numerous umlabalaba (Zulu chess) tournaments in Equatorial Guinea, Gambia (Senegambia), Guatemala (Chichicastenango), Guinea-Bissau (Gabu and Bijagos), India (Tamil Nadu), Indonesia (Kupang), Malawi, Mozambique (Maputo), Namibia and Vanuatu. The Foundation is currently working on a project which will facilitate participation in international internet tournaments organized by the Foundation. For photos of some of these tournaments, prizes, and winners, see under umlabalaba competitions 1, 2, and 3.

8. Mando de Palmares Capoeira CD

In response to a request by Biscoito (a capoeira master) for help in producing a capoeira cd, the BLAC Foundation provided his group with sufficient funding to produce 50 copies. Biscoito prior to this received Foundation help for a trip to Brazil (for which, see his report in papers submitted / request for funds.

9. Teaching Children Ceramics

In 2012, our Umlabalaba Coordinator in Maputo requested funds to buy sufficient mud to teach some 15 orphans how to make ceramic umlabalaba boards and clay tokens and the Foundation responded favorably. For a film of him teaching students how to make the boards and cow tokens, see the appropriate video link under the umlabalaba button.

10. African Language Hyms CD

A singer from Maputo was unable to publish his Christian religious songs sung in a local language due to lack of funds. He appealed to the BLAC Foundation and received sufficient funds to produce 50 copies of his album. With the money produced from the sale of these, he was able to produce many more.

11. Annual Travel Grants

This year’s winner was Lacouir Yancey (from Madison, Wisconsin), who received a travel grant for $500 to travel to Brazil. While there, he immersed himself in the black culture of Bahia with particular attention being paid to the art and science of capoeira of which he is an able practitioner. As a result of his experience Lacouir said he plans to open a capoeira academy of his own. For more about Lacouir see his trip report under papers submitted / requests for funds and his videos dealing with urban chi).

12. Griot Guitar

A griot who had a radio show was in danger of not being able to perform any longer because of the condition of his aging guitar. With the help of the BLAC Foundation, he obtained a replacement and as a result he is still on the air. See our posted video of him playing the guitar as his mother and father sing an ode to Sundjata.

13. Bijagos Scholarship

Upon purchasing a small statue from a young carver in Bijagos, BLAC Foundation learned he had to drop out of school due to lack of funds. With the help of a German Tourist we were able, for a very small amount of money, to fund his schooling for a full year. As a result, he was able to pay his school fees and returned to school the very next day. Sadly, his three brothers who also had to drop out of school for the same reason were not as fortunate. In this vain the BLAC Foundation is also providing partial scholarships to three children in the CAR program, for which see #1, above.

14. Fyah Judgment

The BLAC Foundation has a new theme song thanks to a gifted rasta rapper from Brikama, Gambia who calls himself Fyah Prophet. Responding to his urgent request for funds to pay for a studio production of the third tract for an intended album, the BLAC Foundation paid for the dubbing, beat, and recording of a song entitled BLAC Foundation, that begins: “World in a confusion; world in a frustration. In Paterson, NJ there’s a BLAC Foundation. Big up Edward, Reggie, Carol, Andy, Joshua. The complete lyrics to the song will be posted on our site later this year.

15. Mini- scholarships to help pay school fees

Primary and secondary school education in the third world, by our standards, is not expensive at all. Yet millions of gifted students there cannot complete their education due to the lack of funds for such purposes. Nevertheless, with the help of a grant of from $25 to $100 a child need not drop out of school. The BLAC Foundation has helped several gifted students in Tamil Nadu with mini-grants of from $25 – $50 a year [see photos of two of the recipients, above]. We would like to help many more such students – both there and in other parts of the tropical world. Can you help us? Great seeds from little acorns grow. One of our mini-scholarship holders with the CARR foundation is studying chemistry and another is studying physics.

16. Student Art Center of Guinea-Bissau

Centro Artistico Juvenil –  was founded in 1976 by father Battiste Armano to give the youth of Bissau (both the city and especially the provinces) a dignified way of earning money so that the majority of them (who are students) can finance their studies. In the beginning all of the work was in the form of traditional wooden sculptures and musical instruments; but in recent years some of the young men began to specialize in sacred sculptures of Christian images from an African perspective. The center was originally sponsored by the Catholic Diocese but it is now an independent operation operated and managed by the students themselves. The current president of the organization is  a Balanta youth by the name of Omelo Armindo Monteiro.  Now 27 years old, he is from Bissau City and has been working at center for the past 11 years.  He is in his first year of a three year presidential term. He is assisted in his administration by Gilberto Arturo Indak, a 29 year old youth from Bubaque in the Bijagos archipielago who has been at the center since he was 16. The center is currently in need of financial assistance to: 1) acquire a lap top computer; 2) $1,000 US dollars to repair the generator that n longer functions; 3) $500 to buy wood; and 4) partners to help them sell their creations. Those interested in helping can contact Omelo by phone in Guinea Bissau at [245] 5555 336 and Gilberto’s phone number is [245] 5527 862. They can also be contacted by e-mail at:  The mailing address is: Centro Artistico Juvenil / Avenida Combatente de Liberdade da Patria / Caixa Postal 313 / Guinea-Bissau / West Africa. See photos of their work in their photo gallery under papers submitted / black poets & artists.

17. Travel Grant 2014

A partial travel grant was awarded this year to a young would-be Zulu artist (pictured above standing between his grandmother and mother) from Durban South Africa. His $952 rand travel grant provides round-trip travel expenses from his home to a Free Art School program in Durban every Saturday from April 1, 2014 through December 15, 2014.

18. Marinheiros do GrandE NAVE

Pictured above from left to right are Yazald, Gilberto, and Alfredo, three officers of a group of student-artists from Maputo that (with the aid of the BLAC Foundation) formed a company that will write, publish, and sell graphic novels in order to help pay for their school fees and art supplies. Each of the 10 artists constituting the group are quite talented and welcome “art contracts” from interested parties. They already have a great deal of illustrating experience thanks to their involvement in several Dan Aiki Publications’ projects. The group can be contacted by cell phone 847770232 (in Maputo) or by e-mail photos, bibliographies and examples of these artists’ work, go to and click on the photo gallery /our artists!

19. Theo “Bopsie” Bophela, South African Jazz legend

Theo “Bopsie” Bophela, a jazz legend from South Africa, is looking for  sponsors to help him publish a book about his life and work. Those interested can get in touch with him in South Africa using the following contact information: Telephone / Fax (031) 510 1253   Cell 083 278 4238   e-mail .
For more information about “Bopsie” and  this very worthwhile project see his profile under papers submitted / artists, poets & musicians.

20. FACA

In an effort to preserve and promote African Capoeira (Capoeira de Angola), our Foundation has established a program (Federacao Autónoma da Capoeira da Africa) to assist existing capoeira groups to more fully understand and appreciate the African origins, history, and philosophy of Capoeira – a martial art that is presently undergoing tremendous changes through Brazilian nationalization and globalization. This program presently consists of talks, workshops, an official text book, and limited funding for instruments,  FACA t-shirts,  training,  awards, and inauguration ceremonies. The first group to be officially inaugurated was the mucamba of Sao Joao dos Angolares in the Republic of Sao Tomé & Príncipe. This group received a text book, an inauguration luncheon, three workshops,  and payment for and additional three months of training by an instructor from the Capoeira Volta ao Mundo group founded and headed by Mestre Wipipo. A textbook and several workshops were  also provided for two groups on the island of Príncipe.


21. School Supplies

In an effort to encourage and promote formal schooling in the black world, the BLAC Foundation favorably responded to a youth group from Sao Joao da Vargem (Sao Tomé & Príncipe) by fulfilling their request for notebooks, pens, and pencils to be awarded as prizes to needy children.


22. Computer Familiarization Course

In an effort to encourage the acquisition of knowledge through the use of computers, the BLAC Foundation gave a full scholarship to a student from Sao Tomé and Príncipe so that she might acquire the rudiments of computer technology and utilize this knowledge for the promotion of black culture and awareness in her community.


23. Kidz for Peace, Paterson (NJ), US

Kidz for Peace

The Anti-Violence Art Group Revolution’s (AVAG) Kidz Peace Team of Paterson, NJ (USA) was created to provide children with pro social skills, anger management skills and anti-bullying techniques to aid in the positive development and unification of children and youth. We promote community involvement through performing arts, visual arts, poetry and music. Our children and volunteers have spent hours utilizing their free-time to work on projects that will help promote peace within our schools and communities throughout Passaic County and Nationwide. Your support for our “Kidz Peace Team” program is greatly needed and would be appreciated!  The Anti-Violence Art Group Revolution “AVAG” fundraises throughout the year for various events and supplies needed to carry out our mission of promoting peace in every neighborhood. Our Peace Rallies and Anti –Violence Art Shows are the Kidz Peace Team’s signature activities. It offers everyone in the community an opportunity to participate in the fight against senseless violence. Please visit for more information and upcoming events.

24. Umlabalaba Fellowship 2018

A BLAC Foundation award was made to an elementary school student from Lamalera, Indonesia to help pay school expenditures for the remainder of the year. This 7 year old SD student not only consistently beat SMP students twice his age, but also succeeded in defeating Dr. Edward Powe 4 times.

He typically sings while he plays and explains to kibitzers why he made one move instead of the ones they suggest. This boy also received a similar grant in 2019.

25. BLAC Foundation / IRIS Summer Study Grants

This is an annual $1,000 supplementary grant for a graduate student at UW-Madison to pursue overseas research during the summer in a field of interest to the BLAC Foundation. As of 2022, two such grants have been awarded: 1) for summer research in Ghana; 2) for summer research in Nigeria.

26. Hutan Kota Sekolah Cinta Alam

In 2019, the “Jungle City School” in Maumere was supported by the BLAC Foundation with a tidy sum of rupiahs in exchange for the bronze statue pictured below.

The school provides “stress release” programming to many children in various places within and near the city of Mamere in Flores, Indonesia and we hope to continue our relationship with its proprietor on a continuing basis over the years.

27. Chus’s Arts & Crafts

In order to help finance the university studies of the boy pictured above, the BLAC Foundation has agreed to purchase at least $250 worth of his creations. These products will then be gifted to new Century Club members or otherwise offered to others who support our Foundation financially.


The BLAC Foundation has sponsored two art competitions at the Public Library in Chichicastnango, Guatemala to encourage young people to draw and think about science and their culture. The theme of the first competition was “What did the big bang look like”.

The second competition’s theme was “What did the garden of Paxil (where the first men of corn were first created) look like. In both competitions refreshments were served and cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, ad 3rd place awarded.

Note also that Simon and umlabalaba competitions were also held at the same library.

29. Hadza Project

Our Vice-President, Reggie Powe & his wife Coleen purchased and installed a 5000 gallon water tank to collect rain water in a Hadza community where water was very hard to come by. He is currently trying to raise $25,000 to complete the one room infirmary that presently has just a foundation, as well as for medicines, t-shirts, shorts, and the purchase of, a motorcycle for a visiting nurse.


30. Paul & Kathleen Beckett Mini-Scholarship Awards

These awards, established with a contribution of $5,200 by. Dr. Paul Beckett, are aimed at helping needy, but worthy, children living and schooling in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean or the South Pacific with schooling. expenses. The name of the recipient, age, country, year and amount of each award, is listed below.

1. Ingrith Sheila Julissa Och Tecum (2023) – Ingrith, one of eight siblings, is 13 yrs. old and a 6th grade student at the Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta Canton Chilima, Chichicastenngo, Guatemala. She wants to become a cientist, doctor, or soldier and said she would use her award: 500 Quetzales help meet school expenses
2. Nelson Danilo Cuterez (2023) – Nelson, one of 8 siblings, is 13 yrs. old and at the time of the award, was a sixth grade student at the Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta Canton Chilima in Chichicastenango Guatemala. His stated ambition is to become a policeman. When asked what he would do with his award of 500 Quetzales, he said he would buy shoes and clothing for school.
3. Genesis Fernanda (2023) – Genesis, one of two siblings, is 14 years old and at the time of the award, was a fifth grade student at the Escuela de Ninas de la Buga in Livingston, Izabal Guatemala. Her ambition is become a cook. When asked how she would spend her 500 Quetzal award, she replied she didn’t know yet.
4. Edwin Gabriel Sacu (2023) – Edwin, one of three siblings, is 11 years old and, at te time of the award, was in the 5th grade at the Justo Rufino Barrios school for boys in Livingston, Izabal, Guatemala. He wants to become a policeman and stated he would give his 500 Quetzal award to his mother to buy food

31. Soulful Stitching

The BLAC Foundation awarded the Siddhis of Karnataka, India $100 to purchase thread and cloth for their quilt making project.

  1. Soulful Stitching, Social Action
  2. Soulful Stitching – Patchwork Quilt by African (Siddis) of India