2023 Sankofa Fellowship
Sankofa Journey Recap: Weaving Stories of Culture, Resilience, and Connection:
With beautiful hand-sewn (donated) bags in hand, our Sankofa journey began, taking us on a remarkable adventure that intertwined history, culture, and the spirit of resilience. Over the course of our unforgettable journey, we explored three destinations: Washington, D.C., Portugal, and the captivating land of Ghana, West Africa.
Washington, D.C.: Reflecting on Heritage:
Our journey commenced in Washington, D.C., where we delved into the stories and artifacts at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The powerful exhibits painted a vivid picture of the struggles, triumphs, and contributions that have shaped African American heritage. As we walked through history, we were reminded of the importance of understanding our past to create a better future.
Portugal: Bridging Continents and Cultures:
In Portugal, a country with ties to the African diaspora, we embraced the vibrant local culture and engaged with communities to learn about shared experiences that transcend borders and time. Our exploration deepened our connection to the roots that bind us across continents, emphasizing the unity of humanity.
Ghana: A Land Teeming with Significance:
Our ultimate destination, Ghana, West Africa, stole our hearts with its rich history and cultural significance. As we traversed this enchanting land, we were captivated by its landscapes, connected with its people, and paid homage to the ancestral ties that unite us all. From visiting iconic landmarks like the Black Star Square & Asenema Waterfalls, to experiencing the warmth of Ghanaian hospitality, every moment was an opportunity to embrace culture and heritage.
A Culinary Adventure, Name-Giving Ceremony, and Deeply Emotional Farewell:
Our journey unfolded through unforgettable activities, including a cooking lesson that connected us to Ghanaian culture through food. We learned to create traditional dishes, each bite a taste of Ghana's rich flavors and traditions. Additionally, we participated in a traditional Naming Ceremony, guided by community elders who bestowed upon us names that carry the essence of our journey and our connection to Ghana's heritage.
We visited the Trabuom Kindergarten & Primary School, where we were welcomed by community leaders, the nurturing house mother, and the enthusiastic children. It was an emotional moment as we presented the school with new physical education equipment, recognizing the importance of sports and play in a child's development. Additionally, we donated soccer uniforms, which we hope will inspire the young talents of Trabuom to chase their dreams. Our monetary contribution was a small gesture, yet one we know they will utilize wisely to nurture future leaders and changemakers.
Finally we visited the historic Elmina Slave Dungeons, which left an indelible mark on us, serving as a powerful symbol of the country's painful history. Stepping into these dungeons was a profound experience that shook us to our core, as we connected with the weight of history and retraced the agonizing footsteps of those who endured unimaginable suffering. This visit served as a stark reminder of the dark chapter in human history when countless lives were cruelly uprooted and enslaved, destined for foreign lands.
Seeking solace and closure after the emotional journey, we embarked on another significant experience. At the Assin Manso Slave River Site, a place of deep emotional and spiritual significance, we immersed ourselves in the ritual of the first bath of return. This ritual held profound symbolism, representing the cleansing of the spirits of our ancestors and their final return home. In this solemn moment, we felt an overwhelming sense of unity, not only among ourselves but also with the generations before us. Through this powerful tribute, we honored their remarkable resilience and strength, recognizing the enduring spirit that lives on within us.
Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future:
As we bid farewell to Ghana and returned to Minneapolis, the lessons we learned and the connections we forged continued to resonate. The Sankofa principle of looking back to move forward guided our steps, reminding us of the importance of preserving our roots while embracing the opportunities that lie ahead.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, our incredible community, and the wise elders and individuals who welcomed us with open arms during our journey. Together, we celebrated culture, unity, and the spirit of Sankofa, and we carry these experiences with us as we continue to create positive change.
Thank you for being a part of our Sankofa journey. Your support has made this transformative experience possible, and we look forward to sharing more stories, insights, and reflections with you in the days to come.
While we reflect, we invite you to consider taking your support to the next level by setting up a recurring payment. By becoming a recurring donor, you provide us with the stability and resources needed to plan ahead and sponsor experiences that can truly change lives.
To set up your recurring donation and join us in championing these life-changing experiences, please visit our website or reach out to our dedicated Director of Operations - Christy Botts.
Thank you for being an integral part of the Rebound community. Together, we are making dreams a reality and building a future filled with hope and possibility.
With immense appreciation and a sense of unity,