Robert H. Dickerson, is the co-founder, creator and C.E.O of the Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble, and the Unity Community Center of S.J. Inc., headquartered in Camden, New Jersey. Mr. Dickerson, a 9th Degree Grand Master Black Belt, has been training, practicing and studying the Martial Arts (Karate) and Boxing since 1968. He is a recognized professor of the Martial Arts, author and a teacher who specialize in programs that develop self-discipline and moral character for the community, especially the youth. Mr. Dickerson created The World Champion UPK Pasha Generals, who specializes in close order discipline military-style drilling. The purpose of the UPK Pasha Generals is to serve as a model of what young people can achieve if they understand the principles of love and discipline.
Since 1968 he has been a member of African-American organizations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, dedicated to helping and teaching at-risk or inner-city youth and the community the Martial Arts (Karate) and African-American History. In the late 1960's he was a leader and President of Black History programs in High School, and carried his leadership skills in the communities of Darby and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He strives very hard to be a positive role-model and a righteous contributor in uplifting humanity for his family and community.
Mr. Dickerson, a cultural activist who loves history and specializes in the collection of historical information, literature, tapes, photos, audio and video education of African-American leaders and organizations. He continues to teach the young people the value of living, loving, and respecting their culture, family, community and of course African-American leaders who have made great accomplishments in helping the Community, America and the World.
Since 1984, Mr. Dickerson has instituted in his African Dance & Drum classes as well as the Martial Arts (Karate) classes, the reciting, practicing and living the NGUZO SABA (The Seven Principles) founded by the creator of KWANZAA, Dr. Maulana Karenga. It is a joy to hear children ages one to our elders over 70 years recite the seven principles after every class. Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith). In July of 2007 Robert and Wanda Dickerson were given their beautiful African names from Dr. Maulana Karenga while attending the Kawaida Institute of Pan-African Studies 30th Annual Seminar in Los Angeles, California. Robert was given the name Mshujaa (Warrior) and Wanda's name Mpaiji (Generous one) from Dr. Karenga.
Mr. Robert Dickerson has received many awards and accolades from World Renowned Historians, Scholars, World Leaders, Senators, Governors, Freeholders, Mayors, City Councils, Educators, Religious, Business and Community Organizations.
Mr. Robert and his wife, Wanda Dickerson, has been together since 1973, and has been married since September of 1975, raising their wonderful two sons (Jamal and Nasir) and two daughters (Atiya and Ayanna). Together they have developed a safe haven for our youth in the Camden, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. They have also produced one of the best performing arts organizations in the United States of America.
One of his goals, in the Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble is to help African Americans or Black People understand the importance of honoring their place of origin, AFRICA (The Motherland), while at the same time helping our African Family appreciate that there are African Americans or Black People helping to build between the two, UNITY, through emphasizing the AFRICAN DIASPROA, HISTORY, EDUCATION and the PERFORMING ARTS, in order to receive respect and honor in America and all over the world.
A people without the knowledge of their
past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
"African Dance and African Drum is
"The Understanding of LOVE & DISCIPLINE is the KEY"