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FRIDAY FOCUS - Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions

Celebrate African American heritage and culture at the Annual Juneteenth Celebration, June 16 with the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions (UCAC). The UCAC documents, researches and increases awareness for African American contributions in St. Mary’s County. Through their educational programs, seminars, panels and more they share the history of those before us and create understanding of African American culture. We caught up with Mike Brown, President of UCAC to learn more about their community outreach.  

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)
Founded in 1995, by Elmer Brown, the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions (UCAC), mission is to document, increase understanding and foster African American contributions to the history and development of St. Mary’s County, while advocating for improvements in health, education and community building for all citizens in St. Mary’s. UCAC has erected various monuments such as the African American Monument in Elmer Brown Freedom Park and the United States Colored Troops Civil War Memorial Monument to showcase our history and culture. The organization provides programs, documentaries, interpretive panels, workshops and more to help educate the citizens of St. Mary’s County and get them involved in our history.
 
Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
Some of our favorite moments include, seeing the United States Colored Troops (USCT) monument come to completion, which will be enjoyed by the public for years to come. We also enjoyed helping the local soup kitchen that feeds hundreds of people each day and providing financial support to the Three Oaks Homeless Shelter in Lexington Park. Additionally, we enjoyed helping the NAACP provide book bags and notebooks to underprivileged children to start school.
 
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge is the need for new and younger volunteers that can help us do research and help interpret information to the public about our mission.
 
Q: Are there any upcoming events?
We are excited about our Annual Juneteenth Celebration this Saturday, June 16, which is a celebration of African American heritage that commemorates the emancipation of slavery in the United States. Everyone is welcome for this safe, family friendly and free event! We also host annual meetings and Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance Celebrations in partnership with the public library, NAACP, Minority Outreach coalition and more.
 
Q: How can people get involved with your organization?
UCAC is always in need of volunteers! We need volunteers to assist with programs, events, historical research and ongoing fundraising projects. As UCAC is a non-profit, we also gladly accept contributions and sponsors to help further our organizations outreach. For more information, please visit our website at  https://www.ucaconline.org/