About us

Broos Institute is an Amsterdam-based, mission-driven nonprofit organization, founded in 2021 by journalist and educator, Marvin Hokstam. 

Hokstam is founder and chief editor of Afro Magazine, the only media platform in the Netherlands dedicated to telling the underreported stories of the Africana Communities in the country. Hokstam’s research, writing and speaking engagements examine themes of African and Afro-Caribbean resistance, legacy, and continuity, including his ancestral connection to one of Suriname’s venerated Maroon leaders, Broos. 

Broos Institute is named after Broos (1821-1880), a freedom fighter and hero in Suriname and leader of the Baka Busi Suma (People of Behind the Forest), a Maroon community in the forest on the Surnaukreek. From this camp, Broos fought against the colonizer’s rule and attacked plantations to free enslaved people. The colonial government tried several times to re-enslave the Baka Busi Suma. In 1862 the then Governor of Suriname invited Broos for peace-talks, where he was granted the land where his camp stood. It was determined that anyone who was born in the forest or who lived in the forest for more than three years would be considered free residents of Suriname. Slavery was abolished in Suriname in 1863.

The Broos Institute’s work merges applied research; grassroots community education interventions and initiatives in the Netherlands, Suriname, and Ghana; and a series of projects that center on African and African diaspora history, culture, art, and education.

With a network of more than one hundred African and African diaspora scholars, the Broos Institute provides sustainable, non-formal learning opportunities to address the root causes of issues on youth and adult social exclusion, knowledge sharing aligned with the UNESCO Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development and the UNSDGs. 

The Institute centers African and African diasporic experiences into mainstream European education, thereby offering people of African descent a study environment that recognizes, respects and encourages their unique perspectives. The Institute advocates and advances culturally responsive, decolonizing education practices from an Africana perspective.

Current Projects

Weekend College/StudieMAX
Management of educational and student support programming in Zuidoost, Amsterdam, an important center for African, Afro-Caribbean, and Afro-Dutch communities.

Africana Development Program
In partnership with the Anton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeKUS) and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana. 

·       Centers history, culture, and arts of people of African descent. 

·       Brings students from Suriname and the Netherlands together in a virtual classroom where they will receive lectures from professors and guest lecturers from Suriname, the Netherlands, Ghana, and the Caribbean. 

·       The general aim of the Africana Development Studies Certificate Course is that participants contribute to broadening insights and perspectives on history, culture, identity, education, entrepreneurship and leadership with the purpose of stimulating and strengthening the socio-cultural and socio-economic development of the African Diaspora.

A two-year project funded by the Dutch Government in which we are providing educational support to secondary school students in the multi-ethnic, African, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Dutch neighborhood of Zuidoost, Amsterdam. This project prepares young people for their entrance into tertiary education. 

An ongoing project in which we provide Dutch and English lessons for refugees in Amsterdam.

Remember Statia: Tracing Our Origins and Heritage
A community project together with the St. Eustatius Afrikan Burial Ground Alliance (SE-ABG Alliance) in which the inhabitants of the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius research their ancestors and then write their own history. Broos Institute carries out the writing training, with specific attention to decolonising writing/journalism.

Study Abroad and Experiential Learning

Broos Institute co-designs, develops, and implements Cultural Activities, Excursions, and Service Learning for Study Abroad and Experiential Learning Programs in Amsterdam and other cities in The Netherlands.