Monday, February 17th, 2014, was the inaugural kickoff of a wonderful and needed community gathering of over 200 people called The Sankofa Series: Inspiring Change Through Engaging Discussion and Reflection. The theme “20 Years Later: The Myth of Race/The Reality of Racism” induced conversations on the literature written by Mahmoud El-Kati 20 years-ago and republished just for this event. El-Kati’s enlightening, relevant and thought-provoking essays were given to each participant in the Sankofa Series. This event also featured Dr. John S. Wright as the keynote speaker followed by 20 tabletop facilitated discussions about the issues of “race” and racism. The evening filled with live music, food and social time ended with a call to action by those attending to commit to inspire and make change in our community.
This event is currently a reoccurring annual event that inculcates several supportive and building aspects:
Community Gathering & Discussion
The purpose of this gathering is to inform, educate, and address the social, intellectual, health of the community.
Literary Production & Promotion
Each year a theme is promoted and based upon that theme a piece of literature is selected or created to address the selected issue’s challenges, questions and solutions that pose barriers to community development, social justice and a better way of life for all.
Lecture and Tabletop Discussions
A keynote speaker is selected to speak about the theme and tie in the selected literary piece. The lecture is then follow-up by intimate tabletop discussions facilitated by trained community grass-root volunteers.
Call to Action and Solidarity
Last but not least is a call to action for everyone to write down and declare what their next steps are to help address this issue at hand. Furthermore, participants will have an opportunity to connect and/or join in solidarity the many organizations or institutions that are addressing the issue of discussion.
Who Organizes and Supports the Sankofa Series?
The Sankofa Series is organized by a diverse group of community members concerned with the health of our neighborhoods and society. Supporters from the 2014 Sankofa Series include The St. Paul Foundation, Neighborhood Development Corporation, Golden Thyme Coffee & Café, Solidarity –Twin Cities and over 40 volunteers!
How can you support the Sankofa Series?