Image: Sankofa — “Return and Fetch it”. Adinkra symbol.
Announcements: The Venceremos Brigade is gearing up fro its 48th annual summer trip to Cuba. These trips emphasize solidarity with the Cuban people. Expect meetings with Cuban government officials, visits to schools, hospitals, etc and some work during the time you’re there. Details and applications available at the IFCO/ Pastors for peace website. If you want, I can put you in touch with NYC area people who’ve gone in the past for a more detailed idea of what to expect.
For Thursday 3/16, we’ll have some guest speakers who will focus on their experiences working with Black children and their experiences with youth Rites of Passage programs. Class will meet in our normal room at Lehman (Carman 330) and at the usual time: 6 PM.
To prepare for the speakers, please read the following PDFs in the order listed here. All are on the Readings page. See your syllabus for the password. (Hint: what year is it?)
- “Twenty Five Years of Adolescent Rites: Nineteen Circles of Adolescent Girls”
- Chapter 4 from Nsenga Warfield-Coppock’s workbook
- Optional (but recommended for anyone working with youth) is Chapter 1 from Nsenga Warfield-Coppock’s workbook
- Also bring your copy of the current Amsterdam News in case we want to refer to it.
- Also see the website for Ankobea as a resource for a good example of Afrikan centered rites of passage programs and nation-building organization.
Mdut (pronounced “Medewtwy) SeshrAnkh is a lecturer on ancient African history and religions/spiritual systems. He had been taught at the feet of one our historical greats, Dr. Yosef ben Yochannen (affectionately referred to as “Dr. Ben”). Mdut has also studied one of our most ancient languages – Mdw Ntcher (pronounced “Medew Netcher” and renamed “hieroglyphics” by the Greeks) and our original history by other great cultural teachers in our community. Mdut has traveled to various countries on the African continent since 8 years of age, as well as through Europe, parts of Asia, and the Caribbean. Mdut can be referred to as a djali (pronounced “Jolly”) in the truest form of sharing “Ourstory” in the way our ancestors used to. His presentations are primarily interactive and in story form. His theme is “power is knowledge.” Our community has been so divided by “misinformation,” and the truth shall unite and empower us as a whole.
Karen C.W. Drakeford LCSW, APP – (aka Mut Nfrt Ka Raet, or Nfr KaRa for short. Translated: the deep mothering energy from within that emanates goodness from the enlightened spirit) received her undergraduate degree in psychology from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD and her masters in social work from Hunter College in New York City. She is also certified in hypnotherapy, play therapy, polarity and wholistic consultations. Karen Drakeford has trained with holistic experts such as Dr. Llaila Afrika, Dr. John Beaulieu and Queen Afua.
Ms. Drakeford’s world travels and studies have allowed her to infuse sensitivity to a diverse spectrum of cultures. She has worked as a clinical social worker in the New York City Public Schools for more than twenty years and maintains a private practice in which she works with children, adults, couples and families. Her practice infuses a variety of traditional and holistic approaches.