• Fred Owens

    The Amiri Group: Growth and exchange are consequences of international experiences. Everyone should have the opportunity to travel abroad and volunteer. The Amiri Group aims to make that happen.

    What’s The Amiri Group?

    The Amiri Group’s mission is to encourage, promote, and mobilize international civic service in communities of color within the United States. It’s a nonprofit designed to serve as a broker organization to provide well-trained, diverse and motivated U.S. volunteers of color to established volunteer organizations worldwide.

    I was able to focus on this project in my final semester at Milano, during my Advanced Seminar in Nonprofit Management, and gain feedback from New School classmates and professors.

    Whom does the group target, and why?

    We intend to focus on recruiting African-American and Latino males, two groups that have historically had low levels of international volunteer experience and opportunities. There are three main obstacles preventing international volunteerism among these groups: lack of funding, opportunity cost (they could be at home, working jobs and earning income), and the time commitment of many volunteer programs.

    Why is international volunteerism an important issue?

    My own volunteer work in Brazil greatly affected my life; how I view myself and my own community at home. I believe it’s important for others to be given the opportunity to gain a deeper cultural awareness and sensitivity, and to gain insight that can be used to strengthen their own communities at home.

    At what stage is The Amiri Group?

    I am currently working on securing 501(c)(3) status and building a board of directors.