Kerala is a southern state in India with a population of about thirty million. Keralites predominantly speak Malayalam and hence are called Malayalis. It was in 1967 that the first Malayali family settled in Kansas City. Over the next couple of decades, there was more immigration of Keralites to the Heartland. Kansas City Malayalis, although not registered as a group, have been gathering and celebrating Onam and Christmas since 1989. The zeal and commitment of Malayalis, the immense growth in the Malayali population in Kansas City, and the need for streamlining the organizational structure for improved effectiveness in administration of community activities led to the evolution of Kerala Association of Kansas City (KAKC).
The group of individuals comprising ‘The Committee’ of 2001-2002 made several principal changes in the structure and administration of this voluntary organization with the hope that it will pave the way for easier undertaking of greater and progressively ambitious projects of interest to Malayalis in the future. Thus, KAKC was formed as a body of like-minded individuals living in and around Kansas City to foster the cultural heritage of the Keralites. KAKC was envisioned as a not-for-profit organization, which does not discriminate against any individual based on race, class, creed, religion, ethnicity, country of origin, sexual preference, legal status, or political orientation. KAKC aspires to provide a venue for personal and social growth through family kinship, non-partisan fellowship, and enrichment of common ethnic values. It seeks the enhancement of the collective identity of the people of Malayali lineage in Kansas City, while strengthening their commitment to the country of domicile, the United States of America.
KAKC aspires to provide a venue for personal and social growth through family kinship, non-partisan fellowship, and enrichment of common ethnic values. It seeks the enhancement of the collective identity of the people of Malayali lineage in Kansas City, while strengthening their commitment to the country of domicile, the United States of America.
KAKC intends to promote individual growth leading to societal advancement and fulfillment of the cultural yearning of the people of Kerala.
General membership, an executive committee, and elected office holders will constitute KAKC’s administrative structure. KAKC will operate in accordance with the KAKC Bylaws and will be governed by democratic principles. Unlike many similar organizations, KAKC will not have a board of directors or trustees. General members may be nominated and elected to the executive committee which will consist of nine members. All positions will be entirely honorary and no monetary compensation is to be expected. To ensure balance of experience and freshness of perspectives, every year four to five new members will be elected to the executive committee as the members who have served for two consecutive years vacate their seats.
The executive committee will choose or elect office holders from among its nine members. President, secretary, and treasurer will be chosen or elected from among the members serving their second year on the executive committee. The president is expected to be the philosophical guide, source of inspiration, and strategist who can turn every impasse into a win-win situation. High energy, adaptability, and ingenuity would be the hallmark of a great secretary. Impeccable bookkeeping is a pre-requisite for the treasurer, especially since KAKC is a not-for-profit organization answerable to a large number of members.
The executive committee will spearhead the activities of KAKC. The executive committee will meet at least once per quarter, preferably at a committee member’s residence to minimize expenses. Commitment, companionship, mutual respect, and ability to compromise are considered essential for success of executive committee meetings. All decisions by the executive committee will be arrived at through democratic due process. Changes in the bylaws may be brought about by amendment resolutions supported by two thirds of registered KAKC general members.