Maasai Community Partnership
We believe that our Indigenous cultures such as the Maasai may hold the key to our planet’s ability to respond to the environmental, economic and social challenges we face as a global community, as they offer perspective developed outside of the western culture.
The Maasai Community Partnership Project is a collaboration between the Maasai Education, Research and Conservation Institute (MERC), a grassroots umbrella organization of Maasai human rights and conservation efforts, and Prescott College in Arizona, a liberal arts college dedicated to social and environmental justice. The MCPP was created in 2004 by Meitamei Olol Dapash, MERC Executive Director and Mary Poole, Chair of Global Studies at Prescott College, to support the Maasai community in its efforts to sustain its culture, achieve education, and become politically and economically empowered. It is based in Maasailand, at the MCPP center near Talek in Narok District, and in Prescott and includes many members in Maasailand and Prescott.
The Partnership Project exists to share educational and material resources with the Maasai community to support the work of its leadership and community activisim. These resources include: access to scholarship written about Maasai people; time and skills and money to produce scholarship written by and with Maasai people; access to technology and media that will promote equal representation of Maasai people addressing issues facing their community; and assistance with fundraising and relationship building on behalf of other community priorities such as clean water and schools. The partnership also exists to provide opportunities for Prescott College students to participate in activism led by Indigenous community leadership, to learn from the perspectives of Maasai people, and to be part of grassroots work for social change. All of our work is driven by a commitment to radical equality and to justice. It is also fueled by a belief that our Indigenous cultures such as the Maasai may hold the key to our planet’s ability to respond to the environmental, economic and social challenges we face as a global community, as they offer perspective developed outside of the western culture.
Meitamei Olol DapashMeitamei Olol Dapash
Meitamei is Co-Director of the Maasai Community Partnership Project, and Adjunct Professor at Prescott College in Arizona, U.S. Meitamei was taken to school at a young age from his home commnity in Narok District and has gone on to use his subequent education to advocate for the rights of the Maasai community and fight the degradation of Maasai culture, economy, and environment as a result of the continued policies of land alienation and cultural annihilation by the independent governments of Kenya and Tanzania.
Kaitlin NossKaitlin Noss
Kaitlin graduated from Prescott College in 2005 and has been working with the Partnership Project since its inception as the summer program teaching assistant. She also has worked as a public relations and media consultant, received her MA in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education from the University of Toronto in 2010, and is now writing her PhD dissertation at New York University on Black and East African anti-colonial challenges to racial capitalism
Mary PooleMary Poole
Mary is Chair of Global Studies at Prescott College and teaches U.S. and East African history, gender studies, race relations and social movements. Mary has worked in public policy, serving on the staff of the Washington State Senate Ways and Means Committee designing fiscal policy for social service programs. She is the author of The Segregated Origins of Social Security: African Americans and the Welfare State (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2006).