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The OCM’s mission is to enhance the quality of life of the Oromo in Minnesota and others in our community. Key organizational goals include: expanding access to health, health education; employment counseling, youth enrichment, self-sufficiency, improving seniors’ social engagement, promoting academic excellence, and creating a vibrant and cohesive community.
The OCM started out as an informal mutual assistance association. It was formally constituted as a community organization in 1985 and became a 501 c3 non-profit organization in 2000. It was created to assist the growing number of Oromo immigrants successfully settle in Minnesota and in the Twin Cities in particular. With strong forty thousand (40,000) members we are the largest Oromo public outside of Oromia and we headquarter over 37 Oromo Communities in diaspora.
One of the distinct competencies of OCM is that it is solidly rooted within the Oromo community. It was with this strong grassroots support that in 2008 OCM purchased its own community center in St. Paul by mobilizing the community’s own resources. Following several fundraising events, the OCM was able to end the mortgage on its building on August 31, 2013—making it the first African immigrant community to fully own a community building in the state of Minnesota. We must continue our growth and give our community bigger capacity and ability.
A New Milestone
In 2014, OCM reached another milestone. After a lengthy negotiation informed by the best traditions of the Gadaa culture, in which mutual understanding and the spirit of give-and-take are valued, OCM absorbed the programs and activities of the American Oromo Community of Minnesota (AOCM), which had been in existence since 2001. The move not only enabled the community to speak in one voice but also to increase organizational capacity, consolidate resources, and take youth-enrichment programming to new heights. We would love to continue to expand youth programs because the demands are very high from our youth.
The overall governance of OCM is undertaken by a 9-member Board of Directors. A unique feature of OCM is that its board of directors is elected by the members of the community. The members of the community are those who maintain 5$ a month to supplement community cost. OCM $5 a month or more givers vote for the nine (9) OCM Board of Directors. The board’s term of office is two years. The last election took place on November 14, 2015. OCM is known for accountable and effective leadership, and in doing so it garners the full engagement of its board members, employees and volunteers. It is guided by close oversight of the management and led by clear principles and policies to ensure, accountability, effectiveness and transparency.
The day-to-day management of OCM is carried out by an Executive Director assisted by program staff. The Director operates under the supervision of the Management Committee, composed of the president, secretary, treasurer, and the Executive Director (ex officio member). The current Executive Director is Mr. Jemal Tufe.