THE ETHIOPIAN WORLD FEDERATION, INCORPORATED
Protectorate of the Sovereignty of We, the Black Peoples of the World – International in Scope. Owner and Administrator of the Shashemane Land Grant in Ethiopia, given by His and Her Imperial Majesties, Emperor Haile Selassie I and Empress Menen Asfaw for the Repatriation of the Children of Africans/Ethiopians who were kidnapped and enslaved in the Diaspora by foreign nations.
HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY, EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE I, and HER IMPERIAL MAJESTY, EMPRESS WOIZERO MENEN ASFAW Ordained the Ethiopian World Federation, Inc. with a Constitution for Africans/Ethiopians at home and abroad. The EWF, Inc. was established and incorporated in New York in 1937 by Dr. Malaku Bayen and citizens of Harlem who were raising funds to help Ethiopia during the Italian invasion which lasted from 1935 – 1941.
THE CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS OF THE ETHIOPIAN WORLD FEDERATION INCORPORATED
“We the Black Peoples of the World, in Order to effect
Unity, Solidarity, Liberty, Freedom and Self-determination,
to Secure Justice and Maintain the Integrity of Ethiopia,
which is our Divine Heritage,
do hereby Establish and Ordain this Constitution for
The Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated.”
ARTICLE I – NAME, AIMS AND OBJECTS
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated.
Section 2. The aims and objects of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall be:
(a) To promote love and good-will among Ethiopians at home and abroad and thereby to maintain the integrity and sovereignty of Ethiopia, to disseminate the ancient Ethiopian culture among its members, to correct abuses, relieve oppression and carve for ourselves and our posterity, a destiny comparable with our idea of perfect manhood and God’s purpose in creating us; that we may not only save ourselves from annihilation, but carve for ourselves a place in the Sun: in this endeavor, we determine to seek peace and pursue it, for it is the will of God for man.
(b) To promote and pursue happiness; for it is the goal of human life and endeavor.
(c) To usher in the teaching and practice of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
(d) To promote and stimulate interest among its members in world affairs, and to cultivate a spirit of international goodwill and comity.
(e) To promote friendly interest among its members, to develop a fraternal spirit among them and to inculcate in its members the desire to render voluntary aid and assistance to one another at all times.
(f) To render voluntary aid and protection to its members, without fee or charge for same when in need. And, if necessary, to provide and care for refugees and disabled victims of the Italio-Ethiopian war.
(g) To give concrete material and voluntary aid without fee or charge for the same, to all such refugees and disabled victims and to raise funds by voluntary subscription for the purposes aforementioned. There shall be no charge, fee, beneficiary tax or other assessment upon the members of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, except for dues, provided for in the Constitution and By-Laws of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated.
(h) To encourage its members to develop interest and pride in Democratic institutions and to promote Democratic principles and ideals. May God help us to accomplish these aims and ideals.
Section 3. Scope: The Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall be International in scope.
Section 4. Headquarters: The Headquarters of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall be in the City of New York, State of New York, United States of America.
Section 5. Colors. The official Colors of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall be the same as the National Colors of Ethiopia Green, Gold and Red.
Section 6. Eligibility to Office. Male and female shall be equally eligible to all offices.
Section 7. Non-Partisan Character. The Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall be non-partisan and non-political in character, but in cases where partisan, political, or other issues tend to affect the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, adversely in the carrying out of its aims and objects, it shall be free to combat such issues with the best legal means at its disposal.
Section 8. No individual who is a member of any other organization, political party, religious group or sect, which requires that individual to pledge unswerving allegiance to its tenets, thus depriving him of freedom of thought and action which may be necessary in carrying out the aims and objects of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall be elected or appointed to office, or shall allow himself to be elected to any office. Any election or appointment to office in violation of this Section shall be null and void.
ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. The membership shall comprise the BLACK PEOPLES of the world.
Section 2. APPLICATION:
Application for membership shall be in writing.
Section 3. Rejection.
The Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated shall have the right to reject any application for membership without giving reasons.
Section 4. Joining fee.
The Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall have the right to affix a joining fee. There shall be a joining fee of One Dollar (U.S. $ 1:00). However, The Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, through its Executive Council, shall have the right to grant special dispensation to certain areas and to adjust this fee to suit the conditions thereof, provided, however, that in no area the amount effected by the dispensation shall exceed One Dollar (U.S. $1.00).
Section 5. Dues:
The Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall have the right to establish membership dues. The membership dues shall be ten cents (U.S. $.10) per week. These dues shall be remitted to the Headquarters.
Section 6. Unfinancial Members:
Any member who is twelve weeks in arrears in the payment of dues shall be unfinancial in the organization.
ARTICLE III – INTERNATIONAL OFFICERS
Section 1. There shall be the following International Officers of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated:
(b) First Vice-President
(c) Second Vice-President
(d) Executive Secretary
Section 2. Executive Council.
There shall be an Executive Council composed of the elected International Officers, together with three (3) additional members elected by the Convention.
Section 3. Duties of International Officers:
(a) The International President shall be the executive head of the Ethiopian World Federation, Inc., and shall reside in the City of New York. It shall be the duty of the International President to preside at the International Conventions and to deliver an address on the state of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated. He shall sign all legal documents and be Chairman of the International Executive Council. It shall be his duty to call Conventions as appointed by law, and in cases of emergency, by and with the consent of the Executive Council, call special conventions.
(b) The First International Vice-President shall reside in the City of New York and shall assume the duties of the International President in his absence or when requested to do so by him.
(c) Second International Vice-President: The 2nd International Vice-President shall perform the duties of the First Vice-President in his absences and shall assist the First Vice-President in the performance of such duties as may be assigned to him by the President. In case of death or permanent disability of the First Vice-President, the International Executive Council shall name the Executive Head to serve until the next general election.
(d) Executive Secretary: The Executive Secretary shall have charge of the main office of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, and shall be held responsible to the Executive Council for the conduct of the business thereof. All acts of the Executive Secretary shall be subject to the approval of the Executive Council. The Executive Secretary shall appoint all office employees, subject to the approval of the Executive Council and shall when necessary, submit to the Executive Council the name of any member of the office staff for promotion to the head of a department. The Executive Secretary shall receive all monies from locals and other sources. All monies so received shall be turned over, within 24 hours, to the Treasurer, who shall give a receipt or receipts to the Executive Secretary. The Executive Secretary shall forward receipts to all locals for monies received from them. The Executive Secretary shall submit quarterly reports to the Executive Council.
(e) Treasurer: It shall be the duty of the International Treasurer to receive all monies from the Executive Secretary. He shall, in conjunctions with other members of the Banking Committee, deposit all amounts of money in the bank or banks designated by the Executive Council. His books shall be open to inspection by the Executive Council at all times. He shall issue receipts for all monies received by him for the organization. He shall pay out monies upon order of the Executive Council only. He shall be bonded by a reliable surety company. The premium for such a bond shall be paid by the organization. He shall be a member of the Executive Council.
(f) International Organizer: It shall be the duty of the International Organizer to organize locals, to supervise locals already established and to keep them in good working order. He shall also perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the Executive Council. He shall keep the Headquarters informed of his activities from week to week and he shall submit a monthly report.
(g) Absence: Any officer absenting himself from three (3) successive meetings and failing to submit sufficient reason for his absence, this office may be declared vacant by the Executive Council.
The Executive Council of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall instruct locals from time to time on matters not herein mentioned. All questions of procedure not specifically mentioned in this Constitution shall be governed by Robert’s Manual of Parliamentary Procedure.
ARTICLE IV – CONVENTIONS, ELECTIONS, INSTALLATIONS, MEETINGS
Conventions: There shall be an annual Convention of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated. It shall be called on the sixteenth day of July. The Convention shall select the place of meeting of the succeeding Convention.
Delegates to the Convention: Each local shall be entitled to representation in Convention by delegates. There shall be one delegate for each 25 members up to one hundred, and for each additional one hundred members or part thereof, one additional delegate. One-third (1/3) of the number of duly accredited delegates to any Convention shall constitute a quorum at that Convention.
Section 3. Elections: The election of all international officers shall take place during the Convention. The election shall be by ballot. All locals shall hold their election during the first two weeks in December.
Section 4. Term of Office: All officers, international and local, shall be elected for a term of one year.
Section 5. Installation: The installation of elected international officers shall be held on a date preceding the closing of the Convention. The installation of officers of locals shall be at the first regular meeting in January following the election.
Section. 6. Uniforms: The Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall have the right to decide on the kind of uniform, if any, to be worn during parades and Conventions.
Section 7. Meetings: It shall be within the discretion of any local to hold its meetings as often as desired, provided, however, that there shall be held regular meetings twice per month.
Section 8. Nine members in good standing shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business in the local.
ARTICLE V – LOCALS
(a) The first unit of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, in the City of New York shall be known as Local Number One.
(b) The duly elected officers of Local No. I shall be the International Officers, except the President, until a Convention is called and International Officers are duly elected.
(a) The right to issue charters is vested in the Executive Council.
(b) The right to revoke charters is vested in the Executive Council.
ARTICLE VI – ESTABLISHMENT OF LOCAL
(a) Any twenty-five (25) persons or more, desirous of forming a local, shall apply to the Executive Council for a charter.
(b) The fee for this charter shall be Ten ($10.00) Dollars.
The officers of each local of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall be: President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Recording-Corresponding Secretary, Chaplain, Sergeant-at-Arms.
Each local shall establish an Executive Committee. This Executive Committee shall be composed of the President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Recording-Corresponding Secretary, Chaplain, Sergeant-at-Arms and the three (3) other members elected by the local.
Section 4. Duties of officers-Locals:
(a) President: The President shall preside at all meetings, sign all documents of the local and appoint all committees and units. The President shall have power to call special meetings in the general interest of the organization whenever he deems it necessary. The President shall be ex-officio member of all committees.
(b) Vice-President: It shall be the duty of the Vice-Presidents, in their order to preside at regular meetings in the absence of the President or whenever requested to do so by him or her.
(c) Treasurer: It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive from the Financial Secretary all monies belonging to the local giving a voucher for same, and shall deposit or cause to be deposited, twenty-four hours after its receipt, such monies in a bank or banks selected by the Executive Committee. He shall payout monies on order of the Executive Committee only. He shall make a monthly report to the local on a blank provided for the purpose, submitting a certified copy to the Headquarters. He shall be bonded.
(d) Financial Secretary: It shall be the duty of the Financial Secretary to receive all monies from subscriptions, dues, contributions, rallies and special efforts from the members of the local, and from all other sources, give a receipt and keep an accurate record thereof. He shall turn over all such monies to the Treasurer at the close of each meeting and shall demand a voucher therefor. He shall be bonded. The books of the Financial Secretary shall be open to the Executive Committee of the local or to any person authorized by said committee to examine them. The Financial Secretary shall be required to collaborate with the Recording-Corresponding Secretary and shall, on request, give such information as may be required by the Recording Corresponding Secretary of entries or records made in his books. The Financial Secretary shall make a monthly report to the local on a blank provided for the purpose, submitting a signed copy to the Headquarters.
(e) Recording-Corresponding Secretary: It shall be the duty of the Recording Corresponding Secretary to keep a correct record of the minutes and proceedings of the regular meetings. He shall keep a correct list of the members of the local. He shall be required to collaborate with the Financial Secretary and shall on request give such information as may be required by the Financial Secretary of entries or records made in his books. He shall keep on file all reports and communications. He shall affix his signature, together with the seal of the local, to all documents. He shall keep the seal of the local under his personal supervision. He shall read all reports and minutes of previous meetings. He shall be a member of the Executive Committee of the local. The Recording-Corresponding Secretary shall have charge of all books, literature, flags, buttons, stamps and all salable articles of the local and shall turn over the proceeds from the sale thereof to the Financial Secretary.
(f) Chaplain: It shall be the duty of the Chaplain to open and close every meeting of the local with prayer and to minister to the spiritual needs of the members. He shall be responsible for the moral tone pervading the local. He shall transmit to the local such instructions and literature as shall be sent to him from time to time by the International Chaplain. He shall be a member of the local committee on Complaints and Grievances and of the Sick Committee.
(g) Sergeant-at-Arms: The Sergeant-at-Arms shall attend all meetings of the local and see that the meeting room is in order. He shall attend at the door of the meeting room, prevent the admission of any person who is not entitled to admission, or whose conduct is unbecoming; and when instructed by the President, shall remove from the meeting room any person whose conduct is not in keeping with good order and discipline. He shall perform any and all such other duties pertaining to his office as might be required of him by the President.
ARTICLE VII – COMMITTEES
Committees: The following committees shall be established:
Section 1. Banking. Membership, Education, Publicity, Sick, Ways & Means, Information, Auditing, Complaints & Grievances, House Committee and such other committees as shall from time to time become necessary provided that such committees are approved by the International Executive Council.
(a) Banking Committee: There shall be a Banking Committee composed of the President, Treasurer and three (3) other members elected from the body. It shall be the duty of the Banking Committee to keep a check on the deposits and withdrawals by the Treasurer and to assist him in any way he desires. It shall have access to the bank books held by the Treasurer and may from time to time check with him, his bank accounts and financial dealings.
(b) Membership: It shall be the duty of the Membership Committee to devise plans to increase the membership of the local; to visit delinquent members; to encourage their attendance at the meetings and encourage them in the full performance of their duties.
(c) Education: It shall be the duty of the Committee on Education to provide for the use of the members, books, papers, magazines and all historical and cultural material and literature touching racial questions as well as political, economic, social, health, agricultural and other matters which will aid in the betterment of Black Peoples and humanity in general. This committee shall from time to time plan and conduct educational programs.
(d) Publicity Committee: It shall be the duty of the Committee on Publicity to keep before the public the aims and objects of the organization and the work of the local. It shall endeavor to publicize its activities. It shall be responsible for the distribution of the official organ of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated.
(e) Sick Committee: It shall be the duty of the Sick Committee to keep a list of the sick members; to visit them regularly and to encourage the general membership to do so. It shall evince a genuine interest in the sick members, doing all in its power to aid and comfort them. It shall raise funds for their financial assistance; these funds shall be deposited with the Treasurer of the local and kept by him in a separate account. The committee shall recommend to the Executive Committee the nature and amount of the aid that may be given.
(f) Ways and Means: It shall be the duty of the Ways and Means committee to devise plans for raising money to conduct the business of the local.
(g) Information Committee: It shall be the duty of the Committee on Information to gather information for the general welfare of the Federation.
(h) Auditing Committee: There shall be an Auditing Committee of three (3) members. It shall be the duty of the Auditing Committee to make an audit of the books of the local and submit its report to the local with a signed copy of the report to the Headquarters quarterly. The Executive Committee shall be empowered to demand an audit at anytime. No member of the Executive Committee shall serve on the Auditing Committee.
(i) House Committee: The House Committee shall have charge of the building and all other physical property belonging to the local. They shall see to it that these are kept in proper order and repaired and shall prepare the house for meetings. They shall make a monthly inventory of all physical property.
(j) Complaints and Grievances Committee: Any member having complaints or grievances affecting the organization or any member thereof, shall submit the same to the Committee on Complaints and Grievances. The Committee shall hear all complaints and grievances submitted to it and shall make a determined effort to settle in committee, all differences. Failing to effect a settlement, the matter shall be presented by Secretary of the committee to the Executive Committee of the local. It shall review the entire case. The party failing to abide by the decision of the Executive Committee shall have the right of appeal to the Executive Council of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated. The decision of the Executive Council shall be final.
ARTICLE VIII – IMPEACHMENT OF AN OFFICER
Whenever an officer of any local shall practice malfeasance in office, or shall conduct himself in a manner unbecoming an officer, he shall be impeached. Any member of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, in good standing may present charges against an officer. Charges shall be in writing; whenever a charge is preferred against an officer, it shall first be presented to the Committee on Complaints and Grievances. This Committee shall hear and examine the evidence immediately upon presentation of the charges. Should the evidence be found insufficient to warrant a trial, the Committee on Complaints and Grievances, shall, by majority vote, dismiss the charges. Should the evidence warrant a trial, the committee shall recommend to the President suspension of the officer. The President shall suspend the officer, pending trial. Should the officer charged be the President, any recommendations for his suspension shall be made to the First Vice-President. The Committee on Complaints and Grievances, if it finds that a trial is warranted, shall submit the charges to the Executive Committee within twenty-four hours. The Executive Committee of the local shall hear these charges and on the evidence submitted on both sides render a fair decision. The defendant shall have the right of appeal to the Executive Council of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated. The decision of the Executive Council shall be final.
ARTICLE IX – UNITS
Section 1. A unit is a group within a local, which is required to perform certain specialized duties or task. The personnel of all units, appointed by the president, shall be subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.
(a) Medical: The Medical Unit shall constitute persons who are members of the medical, dental, pharmaceutical and nursing profession. It shall be their duty to give instructions, lectures and general information on health and other topics affecting the well-being of the membership. They shall give to any group desiring training, instruction in first aid, hygiene and preventive medicine. The local failing to include any of the above named professional persons in its membership shall form a medical unit among the lay members. This unit shall invite such members of the above named professions as are available to conduct classes and give instruction in the subjects aforementioned.
(b) Musical: Every local shall have the right to set up a Musical Unit. This unit shall consist of a band orchestra and a choir. Each department shall have its own musical director. The musical directors shall be qualified musicians.
(c) Juvenile: Every local shall have the right to set up a Juvenile Department and to determine its functions.
(d) Women’s Auxiliary: Each local shall have the right to establish a Women’s Auxiliary. It shall be the duty of the Women’s Auxiliary to raise funds to be used for the expense of delegates to the Convention, to provide for the care, keep and comfort of international officers visiting the local on business, and for any other business which the Executive Committee shall decide.
ARTICLE X – BENEFITS
Section 1. Benefits: All financial members of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall be entitled to the benefits hereafter mentioned:
(a) All applications for help shall be referred to the Sick Committee, which may recommend aid according to the circumstances of the case.
(b) The Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall attempt to make or find employment for its members who make application for such employment.
(c) Death: The Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall establish a burial fund; each member of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, in order to obtain the benefits of this burial fund shall have subscribed to the fund for at least one (1) year and shall be in good financial standing in the organization. The subscription to the burial fund shall be $.25 per month. Upon conclusive proof of death, the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall subscribe from this fund the sum of One Hundred ($100.00) Dollars towards the funeral expense of the deceased. Any member who fails to subscribe to the burial fund for three months shall be unfinancial in this fund and shall not be entitled to the benefits of this fund. Any member who is unfinancial in the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall be classified as unfinancial in the burial fund. The Financial Secretary of the local shall collect from each member monthly the subscription to the burial fund.
ARTICLE XI – OBSERVANCE OF NATIONAL HOLIDAYS
Section 1. Observance of National Holidays.
The Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, shall observe with appropriate ceremonies the following holidays: Maskal, Birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie I, Constitution Day, and any other holiday that shall be declared.
ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENT
The Constitution may be amended by the following procedure:
Notice setting forth a copy of the proposed amendment shall be submitted at a regular Convention and shall require a majority vote for endorsement. The Convention shall set a time limit not exceeding one (l) year within which each local shall vote upon the proposed amendment. The Executive Secretary shall transmit an official transcript of the endorsed amendment to each local. A majority vote in each local shall determine the vote of the local. The amendment shall be declared ratified when three-fourths of the total number of locals shall have voted affirmatively for the proposed amendment.
Section 1. Order of Business.
1. Call to Order by the Presiding Officer.
2. Devotional Exercises.
3. Roll Call of Officers.
4. Remarks by the Presiding Officer.
5. Reading of Minutes of the Previous Meeting.
6. Unfinished Business.
8. Applications for Membership.
9. Report of Special Committees.
10. Report of Standing Committees.
11. Admission of New Members.
12. Good and Welfare.
13. Closing Remarks.
14. Receipts of the Meeting.
Section 2. Monthly Reports.
All locals must send monthly reports and returns to the Headquarters.
Names and Addresses of Officers.
The names and addresses of the officers of all locals must be filed at Headquarters. It is the duty of the local to send this information to the headquarters within ten days from the date of election.
Time and Place of Regular Meetings.
All locals shall inform the Headquarters of their time and place of regular meetings.
Oath of Office.
Each elected officer shall take the following Oath of Office before he is installed:
(Repeat, with right band upraised.)
I (Full Name) _________________________________, solemnly pledge to uphold, defend and protect the Constitution of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, and to perform faithfully the duties of my office to the best of my ability. So help me God.
Admission of New Members.
Each new member shall make the following pledge:
(Repeat, with right arm upraised.)
I solemnly pledge to do all that I can to carry out the aims and objects of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, and to abide by its Constitution and By-Laws.
Appointment of Committees.
The President shall appoint the chairmen and members of all committees, except in cases where provision is made in the Constitution for election of members to any committee.
Removal of Officers.
The President shall have the right to remove any officer from an appointive office.
All members, committees, and units must submit their suggestions, recommendations, findings, and reports to the Executive Committee for its approval, before such suggestions, recommendations, findings and reports shall be presented to the general body of the local.
Application for Charter.
All applications for charters shall be made to the Executive Council of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, on prescribed Application Forms. These forms can be obtained from the Headquarters upon request.
No officer or member shall discuss the business of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated, in public or with any person or persons who are not active members of the Federation.
Expense of Delegates.
Each local shall bear the expenses of its own delegates and should in case it is found necessary for the Executive Council to send a special delegate or delegates to any local, that local may be required to pay the expenses of the delegate or delegates.