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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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mayor Will Sessoms Paints it Forward for the Hope House Foundation

We are officially 4 days away from the "Paint it Forward" fundraiser at the Fall Stockley Gardens Arts Festival. Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms has painted a bottle to be auctioned in the "Paint it Forward" event this weekend. This fundraiser is the brainchild of Sara Credito, artist of w.i.n.k. art inc. For years, Sara and her husband Steve have given of their time and donated to charitable organizations. In 2010, Sara began painting and she decided to blend her love of art and her commitment to charitable events thus "Paint it Forward" was born. In 2010, Sara's first Paint it Forward event was for Tidelands Hospice and in 2011, the Paint it Forward fundraiser benefitted Breast Cancer Awareness. After being introduced to Elena Montello at a Hampton Roads Business Outreach event by Cindy Cutler, and I learned the amazing work that the Hope House Foundation does as it assists adults with developmental disabilities live independently and out of institutions- I knew I had to find a way for my organization, COLLAGE,to partner with the Hope House Foundation and raise awareness and money for their foundation. I immediately thought of my dear friend Sara. COLLAGE is a diverse group of people in the Hampton Roads are who love the arts, give back to our community and equality is our foundation. COLLAGE is the place where diversity, the arts and equality meet. In 2012, we supported Access Aids Dine out, worked to get the film Pariah to the Naro Cinema in Norfolk and support the arts and gallery openings in our area. I knew Sara and Paint it Forward, COLLAGE, and the Hope House Foundation could do great things together and this weekend at Stockley we will do just that! After a meeting with Elena and the Executive director of the Hope House, Lynne Seagle showing Sara's art and explaining the concept of Paint it Forward, they commissioned Sara to create a painting for their Fall Stockley Gardens Arts Festival. That painting "Rooted in Hope" is the poster for the Festival. They decided they wanted to have Paint it Forward as a fundrasier for the Hope House Foundation. After 28 years of Stockley Garden Art Festivals, Paint it Forward will be the first time art is created on site at Stockley in 20 years. Join us on Saturday, October 20th 10am -5pm and the auction will be that evening. Come meet the artist and purchase a signed poster of "Rooted in Hope" and see Sara's other art work. Muhammad Ali said that "Service to others is the rent we pay for being on Earth." I so agree. Join us as we Paint it Forward for a great cause! Thanks to the amazing team of women Elena Montello, Anne Knox and Shari Grimes who have been working to make Paint it Forward a success!!!Hope to see you at Stockley!! For more information, visit this site: www. stockleygardens.org COLLAGE-find us on Facebook - Pariah in the 757 Sara Credito with "Rooted in Hope" which she created for the Hope House Foundation.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Africana House at the College of William and Mary

I was invited to the Africana House to talk about my work with creating Rituals of Remembrance. It was great to be with these brilliant students who reside in the Africana House. I shared the beginning of the film "Sankofa" by Haile Gerima with them, spoke about Rituals of Remembrance ceremonies, my work at the African Burial Ground Project and the importance of following you passions. It was a great discusssion and I felt inspired being in the company of these students. In the picture, the students are holding the adinkra symbols Sankofa and Gye Nyame. Thank you again Professor Artisia Green for asking me to come to speak to your students and asante sana for the beautiful sunflowers:) We must teach our children who they are and the culture and tradition they come from! We must do this work!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Paint it Forward" at Stockley festival Oct 20-21st

Muhammad Ali once said that, "“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” I believe that wholeheartedly and want to share an exciting event that is just 9 days away!!! Please tune in to radio station 1110AM at 2pm today as Elena Montello, Development Director of the Hope House foundation and I will be interviewed on Versatility Radio- The Man in the Mirror Radio Talk Show. We will be talking about the amazing work of the Hope House Foundation (http://www.hope-house.org/) Sara Credito's "Paint it Forward" Fundraiser(http://winkartink.com/) and the Stockley Fall Festival October 20th-21st. Sara will call in to the station for the interview!!! A little bit of history... This past summer I was introduced to Elena Montello, Development Director of the Hope House Foundation by Cindy Cutler, who is a power house in the community! When Elena shared with me the remarkable work that the Hope House Foundation is doing as they help adults with disabilities live independently and out of institutions, I knew I had to find a way for my organization, COLLAGE to partner with them. I wanted to help them raise money and awareness around their foundation as COLLAGE is committed to diversity, equality and the arts. I immediately thought about my dear friend Sara Credito who is a talented artist living in South Carolina. For years, she and her husband Steve have donated to charities and have worked to raise money for numerous organizations. Sara decided to take her love for art and her love for giving back to others and blend these 2 passions into what she calls, "Paint it Forward." At "Paint it Forward" fundraisers, local celebrities come out to paint glass or canvases, the art is auctioned off and the proceeds go the the charity. I met with Elena and the Hope House Executive Director, Lynne Seagle, and was moved by their commitment to the Hope House and the people they serve. I shared Sara's artwork and the concept of "Paint it Forward" and they commissioned Sara to create a painting for this years Stockley Garden Fall festival's poster and wanted to have the "Paint it Forward" fundraiser at Stockley. Paint It Forward will be the first time art is made on-site at the festival in over twenty years!! Sara appropriately entitled the painting, "Rooted in Hope" which she donated to the Hope House Foundation. Below is a recent article on "Paint it Forward" at Stockley. http://thelocalshottest.com/events/paint-it-forward-stockley-gardens-fall-arts-festival Please tune in today if you can and join us at Stockley festival October 20-21st to support the Hope House Foundation which is changing the lives of so many in our community!!
Hope to see you at Stockley! Chadra

Monday, October 8, 2012

Reflections on the 1619 Conference by Dr. Colita Nichols Fairfax

It is always profoundly important that we consider the political impact of ANY conversation that is held about African people. I attended the 1619 conference at NSU. Of course I support the dialogue at a campus where I labor as a professor. It is important that our institutions sponsor such discourses. However, we have to be clear that what didn't happen is that there was not a paradigm shift about the presence of African people in British North America. The conversation is stuck on the importance of Jamestown, without any analysis as to the role of Point Comfort, where they disembarked the ship White Lion. The conversation is stuck on exactly where they went in various parts of Virginia. Whereas Dr. Linda Heywood's presentation on Njinga was spirited and necessary, the connection between the rich cultures of Angola that was transferred to Hampton didn't happen. It is clear that Jamestown is very invested in maintaining the British American African narrative. Politically and economically, Jamestown needs to retain that they are the sole birthplace presence of Blacks in America. Politically this justifies their role in American history, and who dares challenge it? I do. And so should all who are interested in African agency and African historiography that creates paradigms that do not serve us whatsoever. Whatsoever.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

America through rose colored glasses...

Columbus clearly had courage to venture out into the unknown-for that I give him the utmost credit however- we must stop retelling these romanticized stories of American history. Don't our children deserve the truth?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Joe Turner's Come and Gone

August Wilson's Pulitizer prize winning play "Joe Turners Come and Gone" begins on Thursday, Oct 4th and runs through Sunday, Oct. 7th. We are going as a group on Sunday at 2pm...meeting in the lobby at 1:30 pm so we can sit together, if possible. Join us as we support Professor Artisia Green as she directs this play. Another great production she is bringing to the College of William and Mary!! See you Sunday...Inbox me if you want to a to car pool or have questions ...chadrapw@gmail.com or 757 816 1579.