Keep Hung Tao Choy Mei on U Street

Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute (HTCMLI) has kept some of the most vulnerable children in Washington DC in school, living healthy lives, and staying outside of the criminal justice system since 1995. To achieve this mission, HTCMLI provides a multi-faceted program that includes Kung-Fu, African djembe drumming, the traditional Chinese folk art of Lion Dance and Dragon Dance, synchronized drumming and traditional Chinese musical instruments, and basic Cantonese and Mandarin. These out-of-school activities and cultural resources have been provided free of charge to children and youth between the ages of 5 and 18 years. Based on economic and at-risk statistics, these young people are some of the most vulnerable youth in the city.

Although the economic plight of families that HTCMLI serves has not changed, the once blighted area where the institute is located has undergone tremendous transformation into a vibrant area filled with restaurants, bars and luxury apartments. The HTCMLI program is being challenged by significant increases in operating expenses such as rent and taxes while funding that previously supported HTCMLI have waned.

As Chief Instructor and Founder, Abdur-Rahim Muhammad is Sifu which means teacher/father. Most of the young males in HTCMLI’s program come from households headed by single mothers and have very little positive interaction with adult males as either mentors, role models, or father figures.

This much-needed out-of-school program provides a positive reinforcement, mentoring and guidance. Through intense physical training students develop discipline, focus, concentration and poise. Students also learn the correlation between sacrifice, practice, patience and personal mastery, skills needed to navigate difficult home environments.

HTCMLI provides a unique cultural bridge between the Asian and African American communities through performances of Lion and Dragon dance in large venues, such as the Kennedy Center to intimate gatherings that include Chinese weddings and Lunar New Year events. HTCMLI’s martial arts and dance activities engage at-risk youth in understanding how physical fitness and eating habits impacts one’s potential for success.  

Please consider partnering with us to enable the great work of empowering our children towards living meaningful lives can continue. The programs at HTCMLI have helped countless children develop into educated and culturally-aware professionals lead productive and healthy lives.  


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Abdur-Rahim Muhammad 
Washington D.C., DC
Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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