CSMS Magazine is the official medium put forward by the Center for Strategic and Multicultural Studies (CSMS), a nonprofit organization made up of academics and other professionals well versed in cultural and minority issues from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds in South Florida. These concerned citizens joined forces five years ago in an organized and constructive fashion to better help and serve the large disenfranchised minority population in Broward, Miami-Dade, Duval and Saint Johns Counties, Florida.
Initially, the main focus of this organization was to conduct scientific multicultural research designed to enhance cross-cultural awareness in Broward County. However, results from several investigations have struck the nerve of the entire team of the executive committee. That has triggered an urgent need for some crucial interventions and a new orientation for CSMS. The organization, adjusting to new reality while still holding on to its previous initiative, has decided to create a social service division dedicated to providing social services in the area of individual, group, and family counseling.
The experts in the executive branch agree that a simple recognition of multiculturalism does not suffice to achieve harmony in a culturally diverse society. In other words, just noticing the presence of different ethnic and cultural entities in a community does not create an atmosphere where everyone feels a sense of belonging. Education must play a pivotal role in the quest to achieve cross-cultural awareness—this kaleidoscope of cultures that so many of us dream of.
The team is a rather solid one, and highly qualified for the task. In addition to having Dr. Ardain Isma, a college professor and an advocate for the poor with twenty years of community activisms, CSMS has in its fold an important team of social workers, MBA holders, Ph.D. holders, and community activists. And to make sure the organization reaches out to a broader audience, CSMS Magazine, the organization’s official organ, publishes in 3 languages: English, French and Creole. Dr. Ardain Isma as its chief editor has assembled a rock solid team of professionals, multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural scattered around the world in order to bring the best unbiased news and analyses to our devoted readers.
Since its first publication back in May of 2005, CSMS Magazine has grown from an online publication with few hundred hits a day to average of six thousand hits per day.
While our mission is to educate people through CSMS Magazine, provide social services primarily to minorities in need, to promote cross-cultural awareness and to engage in scientific research focusing on ethnic and social problems facing our multiethnic and multicultural community, we have considered our values as an integrant part of our mission. In CSMS, there is an utmost understanding that the way we accomplish our mission is just as important as the mission itself. We center our mission on these basic values:
· The best interests of our minority population go above and beyond everything. They encompass permanency, opportunity, and political empowerment for misrepresented citizens in our community.
· We will use a managed care approach in our Individual, Group, and Family Counseling Department to provide services to those in need.
· Protecting neglected children, victims of domestic violence (women or men), and minority rights (including immigrants) will always be paramount.
· Services to the birth family will be a quintessential part of our effort to promote children’s best interests.
· We will always remain an advocacy organization devoted to working tirelessly on behalf of those in need. In the Social Services branch, case managers and their immediate supervisors will be the main drive behind the organization.
· We acknowledge and value the good work done by other institutions, such as the School Board and the Department of Children and Families. We promise a fair and honest cooperation in the event we enter a partnership with them.
· We will operate openly and actively to seek public participation and support. CSMS believes that is the key to establishing a sound and sustained cordial relationship with the public.
· While we are eager to offer services, we would like to do that in the most efficient manner. We will use proven test practices and available resources in the most effective way.
· We will neither launch nor prolong any task unless we have the means to do it on the best practice basis, and at a superior level of performance.
· We will be judged by the results of our work. We will welcome criticism, and will invite the participation of, and fully cooperate with, competent and independent third party evaluators.
CSMS is destined to be successful because of this dazzling combination: the president’s experience and reputation in the community, the credentials of the other members in its leadership, and it is the only such community-based organization in our areas to combine scientific research and social services to better serve its population. Honesty is our principle. Competency is our guide.