In March 2005, Tiberio Vieira and Michelle Vieira founded the Capoeira Center of New York, Inc. and brought together over fifteen years of experience in teaching and training Capoeira and dance. The Center's mission is to promote, foster, and develop an understanding and appreciation of Afro-Brazilian culture. The Center primarily focuses on the Afro-Brazilian martial art and dance of Capoeira through community workshops, classes, presentations, cultural exchange programs, educational seminars, and retreats. The Center's current programmatic activities consist of Capoeira presentations and collaborations with public schools and theaters, regular adult and children's classes at Flushing Town Hall and PMT Dance Studio, and community outreach projects like free Capoeira classes in Queens and Manhattan city parks and annual capoeira camping trips to state parks. The Capoeira Center's Literacy Through Capoeira Project allowed the Center to publish children's books on Capoeira, and every year, the Center supports local artists martial artists through fiscal sponsorship of graduation ceremonies and performances.
Code of Conduct
STATEMENT OF VALUES AND CODE OF CONDUCT
As a matter of fundamental principle, the Capoeira Center New York or “CCNY” intends to adhere to the highest ethical standards because it is the right thing to do and because public trust in our work is the bedrock of our legitimacy. Donors and volunteers support charitable organizations because they trust them to carry out their missions, to be good stewards of their resources, and to uphold rigorous standards of conduct.
We must earn this trust every day and in every possible way. CCNY is primarily its people, and it is up to the people – board members, staff, and volunteers – to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to the core values of integrity, honesty, fairness, openness, respect, and responsibility.
The Capoeira Center New York is a small organization that raises funds from the public and operates at the community level. To better serve and positively impact the community, it has developed its own statement of values and code of conduct to be formally adhered to by the members of its Board of Directors, its staff and volunteers, as well as by its sponsored entities and persons when applicable.
We at the Capoeira Center New York embrace the spirit of the law and will go beyond legal requirements to ensure that what we do is matched by what the public understands about what we do. Transparency, openness and responsiveness to public concerns are integral to our behavior.
II- Statement of Values
Any code of conduct is built on a foundation of shared values. The Capoeira Center of New York values:
The positive impact of nonprofits in society (including relevance and outcomes)
Excellence, accountability and transparency (including openness, honesty and integrity)
Respect, diversity and inclusiveness
Commitment beyond the law
These values lead directly to the Code of Conduct that follows. The values inform and guide the actions that the Capoeira Center of New York takes in developing its policies and informing its practices.
III- Code of Conduct
A. Personal and Professional Integrity
All staff, board members and volunteers of the Capoeira Center of New York shall act with honesty, integrity and openness in all their dealings as representatives of the organization. The organization promotes a working environment that values respect, fairness and integrity.
The Capoeira Center of New York shall have a clearly stated mission and purpose, approved by the Board of Directors, in pursuit of the public good. The CCNY is dedicated to promoting the art and practice of capoeira as a powerful cultural, social and fitness uplifter. All of its programs shall support that mission and all who work for or on behalf of the organization understand and are loyal to that mission and purpose. The mission shall be responsive to the constituencies and communities served by CCNY and of value to the society at large.
The Capoeira Center of New York shall have an active governing body, the Board of Directors, which is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of the organization and oversight of the finances, operations, and policies of the organization. The Board of Directors ensures that:
The board members have the requisite skills and experience to carry out their duties and that all members understand and fulfill their governance duties acting for the benefit of CCNY and its public purpose;
CCNY has a conflict of interest policy that ensures that any conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof are avoided or appropriately managed through disclosure, recusal or other means;
CCNY conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty;
CCNY promotes working relationships with board members, staff, volunteers, and program beneficiaries that are based on mutual respect, fairness and openness;
CCNY is fair and inclusive in its hiring and promotion policies and practices for all board, staff and volunteer positions;
Policies of the CCNY are in writing, clearly articulated and officially adopted;
Resources of the CCNY are responsibly and prudently managed; and
CCNY has the capacity to carry out its programs effectively.
D. Legal Compliance
The Capoeira Center of New York will be vigilant in compliance with laws, regulations and applicable conventions that govern and regulate our organization.
E. Responsible Stewardship
The Capoeira Center of New York shall manage their funds responsibly and prudently. This should include the following considerations:
It spends a reasonable percentage of its annual budget on programs in pursuance of its mission;
It spends an adequate amount on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, competent staff, and other expenditures critical to professional management;
It compensates staff, and any others who may receive compensation, reasonably and appropriately;
It has reasonable fundraising costs, recognizing the variety of factors that affect fundraising costs;
It will maintain an appropriate level of funds to maintain our mission and purpose and not accumulate excessive reserve funds;
It ensures that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable and appropriate to fulfill the mission of the organization; and
All financial reports are factually accurate and complete in all material respects.
F. Openness and Disclosure
The Capoeira Center of New York shall provide comprehensive and timely information to the public, the media, and all stakeholders and is responsive in a timely manner to reasonable requests for information. All information about the CCNY will fully and honestly reflect the policies and practices of the organization. Basic informational data about the organization, such as the Form 990, reviews and compilations, and any audited financial statements will be posted on the CCNY website or otherwise available to the public]. All solicitation materials accurately represent the organization’s policies and practices and will reflect the dignity of program beneficiaries. All financial, organizational, and program reports will be complete and accurate in all material respects.
G. Program Evaluation
The CCNY will regularly review program effectiveness and have mechanisms to incorporate lessons learned into future programs. The CCNY is committed to improving program and organizational effectiveness and develops mechanisms to promote learning from its activities and the field. The CCNY will be responsive to changes in its field of activity and the needs of its constituencies.
H. Respect, Inclusiveness and Diversity
The Capoeira Center of New York shall have a policy of promoting inclusiveness as well as diversity within its staff, board and volunteers in order to enrich its programmatic effectiveness. The CCNY shall take meaningful steps to promote inclusiveness in its hiring, retention, promotion, board recruitment and constituencies served.
The CCNY shall promote respect for the worth and dignity of individuals. Capoeira is also a martial art and must be performed in conditions that are safe for the practicing individuals; violent, disrespectful or bullying behaviors will not be tolerated and will be disciplined by the CCNY, potentially resulting in severance of ties with the organization.
The Capoeira Center of New York shall raise funds from the public or from donor institutions and be truthful in solicitation materials. The CCNY will respect the privacy concerns of individual donors and expend funds consistent with donor intent. The CCNY shall disclose important and relevant information to potential donors.
In raising funds from the public, the Capoeira Center of New York will respect the rights of donors, as follows:
To be informed of the CCNY mission, the way the resources will be used and their capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes;
To be informed of the identity of those serving on the CCNY Board of Directors and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities;
To have access to the most recent CCNY financial reports;
To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given;
To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition;
To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by the law;
To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature;
To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organizations or hired solicitors;
To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share; and,
To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.
While the Capoeira Center of New York’s Board of Directors has given its approval to this document, it will continue to be reviewed and revised as necessary. A statement of values and code of conduct is, by necessity, general in outlining broad ethical principles. It is neither a detailed set of recommended practices on a specific issue nor exhaustive. In many cases, those more specific recommended practices are provided by existing standards by national, regional, and subsector-specific groups.