Welcome to The Sankofa Projects blogspot!!!

"In the spirit of SANKOFA...Reach Back and Fetch your history & your culture so that you will take purposeful steps into the future."

~ Chadra Pittman, Founder & Executive Director

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Saturday, December 29, 2018

Activism and Social Justice Movements Across the Globe- Lecture by Chadra Pittman at Christopher Newport University

From my years at the African Burial Ground National Monument to my organizations, The Sankofa Projects and 4 E.V.E.R., my work has been rooted in "giving voice" to untold stories, excavating history, acknowledging the pioneers and freedom fighters who paved the way, advocating for social injustices and honoring our Ancestors through Sankofa's Annual ceremony of Remembrance at Buckroe Beach. www.thesankofaprojects.blogspot.com
Education, Activism, Community Engagement and Social Justice are the cornerstsones of my orgznizations and life's work. Through our programs, we challenge hegemony and strive to eradicate oppression in all it's forms. I was invited to give a lecture at Christopher Newport University for a Feminist class being taught by Dr. Danielle Stern; I was thrilled to do so as I am always excited to engage with students.
In the spirit of Sankofa, which teaches us to reach back and fetch it, I took the class on a journey through time. We visited critical moments in history which have shaped the lives and laws of this land. We explored ageism, sexism, homophobia, racism, heterosexism, classism, misogyny, patriarchy, ableism and I challenged the relevance and lack thereof of these "cultural norms." I spoke of the necessity of intersectionality and the importance of acknowleding our shared humanity. We explored the ways women and some men fight for social justice. In this current political climate which seems to embrace, coddle and excuse rampant xenophobia, we moved beyond the borders of the United States and investigated how and if culture shapes the lives and work of international activists. We explored the various forms of oppression and how "othering", patriarchy and privilege contribute to a feminism which is racist and exclusionary. We uncovered common threads in our humanity that bind us to one another in our collective pursuit of justice while acknowledging the battles won and risks associated with being an activist. It is imperative that I introduce these students to the names and faces of scholars, activists and game changers who often are invisible in mainstream educational systems like Audre Lorde and others who paved the way.
It was an absolute joy to meet this dynamic group of budding scholars who were engaged, outspoken and excited about their roles in this world and our collective future. I am so grateful that in a political climate and world which seems crazed, unjust and xenophobic that these students have professors like Dr. Stern who are courageous enough to tackle difficult conversations and are willing to work towards understanding. When the lecture ended, I spoke with many students about their class projects and they shared their dreams for their futures. I left feeling inspired by these students and parted from them sharing one of my favorite quotes by Sir James Baldwin, "The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in." I want the youth to always know they can make a difference in this world. Thank you again my friend... for inviting me to your class and for providing this space for me to share this work that I am engaged in with this next generation. I am optimistic that they will take this world by storm, do great things and leave the world better than they inherited it! Hopeful...and grateful...sincere thanks Danielle!!! ☮πŸ•‰πŸ‘ŠπŸΎπŸ‘ŠπŸΎ♀️πŸŒˆπŸ–€πŸŒ
#Educator #Anthropologist #SocialJusticeWarriorsUnite #JamesBaldwin #AudreLorde #IntersectionalFeminism #TheSankofaProjects #4EVER #Humanity

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Dress Rehearsal...it is not!

BELOVEDS... EYE wish you safe travels, hearts healed, laughter, all the joy you can stand, enjoyable time spent with loved ones and dear friends, that you make peace with the people and pains of your past (they weigh you down beloved) that all your dreams come true, that you give yourself ONLY the best (no settling),that Mother Earth is protected, that the differences amongst us are respected, that you have the best of health and your hearts desires fulfilled in the coming year and beyond. Live your lives FULLY dear hearts because this one isn't a dress rehearsal!! Much love and always peace, Chadra The Sankofa Projects 4 E.V.E.R.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Beloved, your LIFE matters!!

Today, someone woke up ready to give up on life. They woke feeling depressed, overwhelmed and they feel like they cant take another step forward. They went to bed crying... contemplating taking their life. They are caught up in despair and are feeling their life isnt worth living. Beloveds...Suicide is real.
If you woke up like this, please tell someone...reach out, ask for help. Please call the hotline...1-800-273-8255
Know that although you may not feel it...You are loved and needed on this Earth. Please talk to someone. You can rewrite a new story or chapter in your life.
If you've lost someone, I pray that you are comforted by the memories and that they are welcomed into loving arms of the Ancestors. Ashe. Aho. Amen.
If you know someone who has hinted about suicide and you are concerned for them, please reach out to them and remind them they are not alone. Beloveds...You are LOVED...you are not alone! Reach out for help. πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€ Chadra 4 E.V.E.R. The Sankofa Projects #RemembranceOfThoseWeLost #YourLifeMatters #SuicidePrevention Remember this...
In memory of Stephen Carr Kratovil, Jr. ****All images are from Pinterest.*****

Friday, November 2, 2018

Humanity Extended in the Height of Hate Filled Times by Chadra Pittman

I watched earlier this week, a large crowd of "white" people in Pittsburgh kneel and turn their back on 45 bc he hasn't denounced white nationalism = Using your privilege to denounce hatred. Thank you. I heard on NPR that a "black" Baptist minister was going to have Shabat tonight in honor of the 11 Jewish people murdered in Pittsburgh = Kindness extended. Thank you. The Muslim community raised $ for those affected in the Jewish massacre = Compassion extended. Thank you. The Baptist minister said when that when Michael Brown was killed, that the Rabbi and members of the Synogague she is visiting this evening came to her church to offer condolences and to pray with the family of Brown = one hand Washes the other. Thank you. In the midst of the inconceivable insanity in the world, moments like these, if just for a moment restore my hope in humanity. πŸ–€ STILL praying for the families in Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Charleston, Parkland, Sandy hook, Columbine, Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Tamir Rice, Philandro Castille...

Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Questionable Character of Brett Kavanaugh

"I like beer. Sometimes, I had TOO many beers...I still like beer." - Kavanaugh at the hearing. 1. So, I immediately thought-- Kavanaugh you are not here because of beer. Let's have accountability for your actions, which are in question. 2. I was wondering, is this an admission of guilt, in the event someone says you have alcoholic tendencies? 3. Truth is, no one really cares that you like beer, well maybe except your wife, children and friends who would be impacted if you are an alcoholic. 4. It is your character that is in question Kavanaugh, not your love of beer. 5. Now a questionable character, along with "too many beers" which might alter your seemingly loathsome character would indeed concern us. 6. I know wonderful, decent hearted folk who drink beer, enjoy beer but are not rapists. 7. Let's get back to your character.
I say, let ALL the women speak!!!! #CharactersMatter 4 E.V.E.R.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Guest Lecturer on Social Justice at Hampton Diversity College - July 12, 2018

"Creating safe spaces where the community can meet across our differences, exchange ideas and turn ideas into action, where the voices of the vulnerable and marginalized can be heard and are valued, where equity is the aim and privilege is examined and the intersections of what makes us human are explored is central to the work of my two organizations, The Sankofa Projects and 4 E.V.E.R. (End Violence End Rape in the 4 Directions of the Earth). The overarching theme of my life's work is rooted in social justice, working to obliterate all forms of oppression, and educating on the importance and necessity of acknowledging our shared humanity." ~ Chadra Pittman Walke
I was invited by Lateisha Handie, Executive Director of the Citizens' Unity Commission to present a lecture on Social Justice, Equity and Equality and I was thrilled to do so. I explored Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Heterosexism, Ableism, Ageism, Transphobia, Equality vs Equity and reinforced the need for Intersectionality incorporating the works of Ancestors Audre Lorde and James Baldwin into the discussion while confronting and examining privilege.
Image below is from our interview on Round Robin with Robin McCormick of Channel 47 and her staff. Thrilled to partner with these powerful women who are working for social justice and the men behind the scenes on the shoot for this day.
The room was filled with a diverse group of people who were interested in learning about social justice, how vital it is to think broadly and beyond our privilege and being cognizant of what happens when social justice is absent. We must create inclusive, welcoming environments where we all have a seat at the table, where we all have a voice and where we all have the ability to succeed.
Thrilled for The Sankofa Projects and 4 E.V.E.R to have partnered with the Citizens' Unity Commission on this initiative and look forward to doing more together in the future. Programs like this, which are rooted in education, building awareness across the Hampton Roads communities and affecting change, make it easy to see why you should #ChooseHampton. If you are interested in enrolling in Hampton Diversity College, contact Ms. Handie at 757-727-6899 or latiesha.handie@hampton.gov

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Reflections on July 4th and the Breasts that Fed Nation

On July 4th, I REMEMBER this woman, this Queen Mother! I think about her and all the other African women and how unbearable it must've been to be forced to bare their breasts and feed the children of those who were enslaving them; to give her milk while her own child lay hungry. I think about how much Africans sacrificed for this land we call America. She and the countless of other Africans who were enslaved on this day in 1776, I REMEMBER them! These are my beloved Ancestors. I would ask the next time you frown upon someone who chooses not to stand for the Pledge or sing the National Anthem and accuse them of being non patriotic---remember her. Her breasts FED this nation. She and those who like her were prohibited by law to drink from "White Only" water fountains yet white infants children could suckle on these black breasts? The irony of it all!!! I ask you, what is MORE patriotic than feeding the Nation? America gained its independence yet not everyone was free. Africans would remain enslaved for another 89 years after America gained her freedom and still, questioning this notion if freedom in a land that has historically condemned Blackness and otherness. As HUMANS, if we ever hope to move forward toward, and attempt to heal from the horrors of this past--we MUST engage in honest conversations about THE TRUTH, the horror which was imposed on our fellow humans, the decimation and genocide of Native First Nations people, the trade of millions of African beings, the millions of lives lost in the Middle Passage, the misogyny and disrespect and rape of women, the racism, sexism, the disregard for GNC folk, the abuse of children, the neglect of the homeless and the elderly. We, HUMANS, have a shared history yet we must acknowledge that our experiences to this land are as vast as the ocean. I am not obliged to celebrate the 4th of July, stand for the pledge nor sing the anthem. My experience to these supposed "national treasures" is different than others and to disregard the difference speaks to your denial of my individual experiences and history. I believe we can move forward towards recognizing our shared humanity but you must see me; the painful parts and the beautiful parts. You must have the courage to face the past and it's crimes against humanity. I'm willing to try...are you? #TheSANKOFAProjects #REMEMBRANCE PPeace always, Chadra For more info on Sankofa, visit www.thesankofaprojects.blogspot.com