Builds Self Esteem
Besides preparing youth to make a successful passage into adulthood, one of the primary goals of Rites of passage is building selfworth and to instil a sense of identity. During slavery and colonization the names (cultural identity) and rights (freedom, human value) were taken away. Having your identity stolen will no doubt take it’s toll on one self-esteem. Although we are no longer physically enslaved, many are still dealing with the emotional and and psychological ramifications of racism. Rites of Passage addresses this issue by instilling cultural pride and a sense of identity.
Develops community awareness and unity
In traditional African society, individual and group responsibilities are viewed as mutually dependent because they did not view themselves as isolated entities but rather, part of an extended family of initiates and mentors. In the African-centered rites of passage emphasis is placed on the principle of unity – “Umoja”. Umoja (unity) is the first principle of Kwanzaa: it teaches us to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community nation and race. We are a communal people and traditionally we believe that, spiritually and culturally all people of African ancestry are family. This is why we refer to each other as brothers and sisters.
Gives rise to a sense of belonging
During adolescence, peer relationship become increasingly important and during the teen years, peer acceptance take precedence over adult approval. Teens need to belong; this desire to belong puts them at a greater risk of giving in to negative peer pressure. The African-centered rites of passage process meet their need by providing a structured, positive peer group to belong to.
A safe haven to discuss social issues and life skills
Young men and boys are growing up in a time when they have to deal with man issues that we probably never had to face, such as: gang violence,HIV/AIDS, media and adult negativity. Group rap/break-out sessions provide practical strategies for dealing with tough life issues.
What is Rites?
A rite of passage is a ceremony and marks the transition from one phase of life to another. Although it is often used to describe the tumultuous transition from adolescence to adulthood, it does refer to any of life’s transitions (Births and Beginnings, Initiations, Partnering, and Endings or Death). There are many passages in our lives if we choose to mark and celebrate them. The Rites program is a 5-6 months process, consisting of an assessment of readiness, bimonthly meetings, a weekend retreat and an initiation ceremony. Yensomu’s process cultivates one’s identity positively through critical thinking and learning, community competence, challenges and developing life skills, and providing candidates with a deeper connection to their history and tradition through mentoring support.
Who Am I?
How Did I Become Who I Am?
Am I Really Who I Think I Am?
What's My Life's Purpose?
Lee (Kodjo) Miller
Kamilah Abena Clayton
What is your Akan Day Name?
Esi Kwasí child born on a Sunday SANKOFA | return and get it You are a leader, organizer and reliable. You have the ability to build, inspire and clear paths. You are a peace maker, balancer, reconciling, calming and move beyond turmoil. You make mediation and community organizing interventions.
Ám̀ma Kwame child born on a Saturday OSRAM – the moon | faith – patience – determination You are calm, deeply spiritual, reassuring, full of wisdom, an Old Spirit. You are a strong communicator, translator and offer communal memory and social connections. You are a teacher, storyteller, researcher and a keeper of the culture
Yaw Yaá child born on a Thursday AKOMA NTOASO – united hearts | togetherness and unity in thought and deed You are strong-willed, courageous, political and a social organizer. You are a peace maker, balancer, reconciling, calming and move beyond turmoil. You make mediation and community organizing interventions.
Ábena Kwabena child born on a Tuesday SANKOFA | learning from the past – go back and fetch it You are inspiring, determined, bold and a risk taker. You are strong-willed, courageous, political and a social organizer. You are a strong communicator, translator and offer communal memory and social connections. You are a teacher, storyteller,[…]
Adjua Kodjo child born on a Monday NKOTIMSEFO MPUA | service – loyalty You are a peacemaker, responsible and devoted to helping others. You are humorous and revel in joy and laughter and have the ability to “see through” things. You utilize your intuitive energy and connection to divine wisdom to enhance our Collective Unconscious.
Ekua Kwaku child born on a Wednesday Mate Masie – wisdom – knowledge You are a strong communicator supportive and sensitive. You are nurturing, grounding and give unconditional love. As an elder you will provide a place of safety and connection for others.