What is AMACA at USPTO?
◦ AMACA stands for: American Muslim & Arabic Cultural Association
◦ USPTO stands for: United States Patent and Trademark Office
◦ AMACA is a professional association of USPTO employees who organize and coordinate together to implement the AMACA goals and mission. AMACA is an independent registered 501c3 non-profit association which is owned and operated by its members.
◦The USPTO granted AMACA VEO (Voluntary Employee Organization) status in 2011, and recognizes AMACA as an official affinity group (among the 16 total affinity groups). This allows AMACA to operate in a limited capacity within the workplace.
To establish an effective presence and promote the positive contributions of Muslim and Arab Americans at the USPTO.
- Promote the professional development of our members, and to provide a support network for their careers.
- Educate USPTO employees about the diverse cultural heritage of the American Muslim and the American Arab communities.
- Contribute to the diversity goals of the USPTO, and help create a work environment free of prejudice, bias and stereotypes.
- Pool the resources and skills of our members, and apply them in way to provide positive contributions to the PTO and local communities.
- Ensure that Muslim employees can fulfill their religious obligations in a practical manner, and in a way that does not conflict with their work.
About AMACA at USPTO
Formally known as Islamic and Arab American Association (IAAA), we’ve been around since 2001. AMACA, as we know it today, was officially chartered, incorporated and granted official Volunteer Employee Organization (VEO) status by the USPTO in 2011.
Our members makes us amongst the most active affinity groups at the PTO. From professional development to mentoring opportunities, AMACA members are always there to serve. Amongst its most notable achievements are PTO wide fundraisers for the annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), recruiting mentors for the inaugural year of the PTO’s New Examiner Mentoring Program (NEMP), sponsoring and participating in the PTO’s celebration of National Engineers Week (e-Week), and hosting, with other PTO affinity groups, students in the DMV area for a day-long hands-on program at USPTO headquarters.
Taken from the AMACA flyer:
The association operated for 10 years under its former name: IAAA (Islamic and Arab American Association). AMACA was chartered and given official VEO (Volunteer Employee Organization) status by the USPTO in January 2011. AMACA assists with professional development, leadership training, mentoring opportunities, PTO diversity goals, community service, and outreach programs. Our volunteers have partnered with other PTO affinity groups and also with external charitable organizations in a variety of projects and events.
During the CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) season, AMACA has conducted a number of PTO-wide fundraisers in the past to support the victims of various disasters. CFC fundraisers included causes such as the earthquake in Haiti, the floods in Pakistan, the children of Gaza, the tsunami in Japan, and others.
AMACA is also involved with educational activities such as the New Examiner Mentoring Program (NEMP) and Engineering Week (e-Week).
The association has successful exhibits at yearly events such as PTO Community Day and the International Food-Sample Festival. AMACA has even won prizes under different categories including the best overall exhibit in the 2010 Community Day.
AMACA organizes weekly Iftar dinners for fasting employees at PTO during the Islamic month of Ramadan; and also organizes a weekly congregational prayer called “Jumuah”.
Taken from the PEET Fall Quarterly Newsletter:
“Asalamu Alaykum” is not just a greeting that you often hear at American Muslim and Arabic Cultural Association (AMACA) events, it is also a concept that most AMACA members live by.
The term literally translates to “peace be upon you” and reminds one another of the importance of living together as one unified humanity.
Although an Arabic saying, many non-Arabs use the term regardless of their language background. AMACA is one of the oldest, largest, and most active Affinity groups at the
USPTO with members all over the United States including the Detroit and Dallas Satellite Offices. AMACA’s mission is a simple one: “To establish an effective presence and promote the positive contributions of Muslim and Arab Americans at the USPTO.”
In establishing an effective presence, AMACA is active in serving its members and the USPTO community by assisting with professional development, leadership training, mentoring opportunities, PTO diversity goals, community service, and outreach programs. For example, September, AMACA hosted the PTAB in its regular Quality Forum Sessions. The topic was
“How to Make Your Appeals More Appealing”, presented by Administrative Patent Judge Bill Baumeister. AMACA’s regular Quality Forum Sessions provide a great opportunity to not only learn but to also ask experts questions that they’ve always had but never asked.
AMACA has taken the lead or partnered with other PTO affinity groups in a variety of projects and events such as:
- Patent Quality lunch and learn sessions
- Monthly BYOM networking events
- Annual PTO-Wide CFC Fundraisers
- Educational activities such as E-Week
- SPE Mock Interviews
- PTO-Wide Blanket & Coat Drive
- Water bottle delivery to local homeless shelters and houses of worship
AMACA’s activities inside and outside of the workplace:
- Professional Development
- Support USPTO Diversity Goals
- Community Service & Charity
- Support Religious Accommodations Within the Workplace
In addition, AMACA ensures that Muslim employees can fulfill their religious obligations in a practical manner, and in a way that does not conflict with their work. AMACA organizes weekly Iftar dinners for fasting employees at PTO during the Islamic month of Ramadan; and also organizes a weekly congregational prayer called “Jumuah”. AMACA also hosts a monthly BYOM with free tea, coffee, sweets, and fruit. Come join AMACA for their monthly BYOMS and don’t forget to greet everyone with Asalamu Alaykum!
LINK TO : What is an Affinity Group? Page
(INTRANET ONLY) AMACA YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW0afj21vKQ&feature=youtu.be