THE WEST INDIAN NATIONAL ASSOCIATION INC. (WIN-A)
The West Indian National Association (WIN-A) began in May 1981 as the West Indian Association of Maryland (WIAM). The founding members were able to incorporate WIAM as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization in July of that year. Thereafter, WIAM began to work toward the goals of providing social services for and promoting the cultural arts of this region’s West Indian immigrants. Such immigrants come from the countries of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, and numerous smaller islands.
The original goals of WIAM are still the goals of the organization today.WIN-A’s Caribbean Carnival Extravaganza address the need among Caribbean immigrants to celebrate the arts, values, and accomplishments of their cultures. These immigrants number at least 35,000 in Maryland. The numbers in the community are on the rise.West Indian people place strong emphasis on education, self improvement, pride in achievement, and interracial cooperation. These are the values that WIN-A wishes to preserve among West Indian immigrants to the U.S., and to instill in their American-born children.
WIN-A plans to expand its outreach to the larger community of Baltimore, so that African American youth can find positive role models. In addition, with anti-immigrant settlement on the rise in the U.S. WIN-A wishes to show the entire community that immigrants are making culturally-enriching, positive contributions to the larger welfare.
West Indian Association of Maryland (WIAM) held its first festival in the summer of 1982 at Hopkins and Center Plaza. The festivals offerings of Caribbean music, food and dance proved so enjoyable that in the next year, an estimated 1.5 million people attended including several Caribbean ambassadors. However, in subsequent years, management problems led to the shrinking of the festival. By 1989, some of the top leaders concluded that the organizations basic structure had to be reorganized. A new Executive Board was formed, and the association’s name was changed to West Indian National Association (WIN-A).
The original tax-exempt number was retained. Since 1989, WIN-A has been holding increasingly large festivals at Druid Hill Park each September. In addition to this staff, WIN-A attracts a substantial number of volunteers who assist in a myriad of ways. Most but not all, are either Caribbean immigrants, of Caribbean parentage. Since 1989, WIN-A has been holding increasingly large festivals at Druid Hill Park each September. Volunteers provide office assistance and help for specific events needed.
For example a Johns Hopkins University graduate student does much of the associations typing and numerous young people have pledge to usher spectators during the August pageant.
Goals and Objectives
The overall goals of WIN-A are to provide cultural enrichment and supportive services to Caribbean Immigrant in the greater Baltimore area:
To provide exposure and marketing opportunities for Caribbean musicians, artist and crafts people.
To broaden the base of corporate and foundation support for WIN-A and its activities.
To improve the self-esteem of Caribbean immigrants and their children by celebrating their various cultures.
To enhance WIN-A finances in order to broaden the scope of supportive services, currently offered to Caribbean immigrants in the Greater Baltimore Metropolitan area.To provide scholarships to College bound students.