Jam…..Peace Jam

April 11, 2012

knot of pacification and reconciliation

Mpatapo is the Adinkra symbol that represents peace making

J is for Jam…..the amazing work of Peace Jam.   Peace Jam  is an amazing organization working to bring together youth and Nobel Laureates thru the work of community affiliates and volunteers.  The goal of this organization is to educate, inspire and call to action youth to make a positive difference using this powerful combination.  

Peace Jam is educating youth with the powerful stories of Nobel Laureates like Desmond TuTu and the Dali Lama and inspiring them to then go out and initiate community actions that promote peace.   The organizers and leaders of this organization are using their Peace Jam conferences to bring these “Jammers” together for even more inspiration and plans for action.

Peace Jam was founded by Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff in Denver Colorado. This dynamic duo is  now  working to continue their momentum  to keep youth excited about tackling and solving  the toughest issues facing our planet.

As a youth leader within my Church I am really inspired by this organization.  We have had  several discussions with our group about how they can make a positive contribution to their local community.   Are you currently working with youth in your community?  What local issues has your group worked to positively contribute to?  How have you been inspired by their views?

Here is a wonderful video with an Introduction of PeaceJam Global Call to Action

Adinkra symbol for reconciliation and peacemaking

Mpatapo is the Adinkra symbol that represents peacemaking

September 21 is the International Day of Peace. We all are encouraged to promote world peace both locally and internationally. There are many things we  can do individually  to support the PEACE movement.

Engaging with children and providing them with activities to express their wishes of peace is one of the most powerful means to promote peace. If the next generation understands that they have the power to make peace happen then they will actively work to create a peaceful world.

Youth Art Work during Chalk4Peace Event

Chalk4Peace Art Work

One of the organizations that offers us a unique and  creative way to express our thoughts of peace is Chalk4Peace. This is a global art project for youth using sidewalks and chalk! This is a simple concept that is so POWERFUL! Chalk4Peace are events held around the world to offer youth the opportunity to creatively express their visions of peace. The children are able to proudly show off their beautiful creations to the world. This positive expression will be a part of their understanding of how important their view is.

Please drop over to visit the Chalk4Peace blog to list or find a Chalk4Peace event! Then be sure to share your beautiful creation here with me!

Take a moment to pray for peace today — then go out and make Mpatapo happen!

Sending out mega wishes of PEACE on this International Day of Peace!  One Adinkra symbol that I think of represents reconciliation and

Adinkra symbol for reconciliation and peacemaking

Peace - Adinkra style

peacemaking  – Mpatopo!   I find it so beautiful that there are so many symbols for peace around the world in every culture and nation. What puzzles me is why we can’t find this beautiful thing called PEACE?

What are you doing to extend peace?

Adinkra symbol for Freedom

Fawohodie Adinkra symbol

With the arrival of June and the beautiful warm weather my mind turns to thoughts of FREEDOM.  The Adinkra symbol Fawohodie represents independence, emancipation and FREEDOM.  Here in the US we  of course have our national celebration of FREEDOM on July 4th — but for me, the count down to Juneteenth (June 19th) initiates thoughts  of what FREEDOM means in this country! As African-Americans I think we are caught between a deep sense of patriotism for our country and the terrible truth of our ancestors shackled existence.  Many of our Brothers and Sisters have stood and fought for our country’s FREEDOM throughout the  history of this great nation! On the other hand we know that FREEDOM has not always been ours as a people in this country….we know the sacrifice that our ancestors gave to lay the foundation for this great nation!

Adding a Juneteenth celebration to the mix has given me the balance I sought for many years!  It has offered me the opportunity to recognize the struggle of my ancestors.  To acknowledge what  a GREAT DAY it must have been for them to hear that word– FREEDOM! Imagine the Mothers and Fathers that learned their children would grow up as FREEmen and women!   Although June 19th is not the date all former slaves were freed, it is when the last group was  officially given this amazing news…..it was a day of completion!  AMEN!

Adinkra symbol for Freedom

Fawohodie Adinkra Symbol

I now find it easier to celebrate  on the  Fourth of July  because I have acknowledge the historical imbalance that once existed.  I think if we are able to incorporate Juneteenth nationally many other African-Americans will feel this balance too!  We can all rejoice in our blessings during  a celebration of  “FREEDOM SEASON

Here is a link to information regarding the history of the Juneteenth celebration! http://bit.ly/9guIIj

I wish you all a very happy and safe summer filled with  wonderful celebrations of FAWOHODIE!!y


Celebrate Juneteenth  June 19th 2011

Juneteenth t-shirt by Kiarablu

Strong Brothers in 1960

This month is a great time to rededicate yourself to learning something new about your history! I try to find a black history fact, historical figure or event that I don’t know much about and learn more…..become an expert on the topic. With the web at our disposal we can do so much more now!

I just learned about the new Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina!  This museum is dedicated to educating the public about the lunch counter sitin that occurred in this city February 1st 1960 and the brave young North Carolina A&T students that conducted it!


This year marks the 50th  Anniversary of this historical event. Be sure to stop by the site and check out the wonderful historic pictures!! I hope to visit the museum in a couple of weeks…teach my children about the struggle that occured which allows them to have the “freedom” they enjoy!

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum is open Tue thru Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday 1pm to 5pm.
It would be great to get a nice size group together to visit!

I will be sure to share pictures when we go!
Ok, now it is your turn…..Sankofa……what will you find?




Martin Luther King Day MLK

January 12, 2010

Dr King 1964  Nobel Peace Prize

What a great man!


I have been concerned for quite a few years that MLK Day has not developed into a more productive day than it has
It seems many people have come to see it as just another day off.
I remember when it first became a national holiday…it felt sooooo GOOD to gather together and honor this GREAT man and all that he sacraficed for our people. He gave us soooo much. It seemed there were so many programs you had to pick which to attend and read about the others in the local African-American newspaper.  I remember my days at  Hampton University marching  to the campus chapel…what great days ….we felt so positive about having this holiday…..the whole country was going to honor Dr. King! 

Now it seems there are not so many programs , not many folks talking about the struggle or Dr King’s contributions. I have been searching for  a meaningful way to celebrate Dr Kings legacy…….Recently I stumbled upon a way to do just that!
 I am not the only one who feels we should be doing more on this day. 

You can find a volunteer project in your local community and offer service on MLK Day!!    The Corportation for National and Community Service has a database of service projects you can join in your local community !
This is a wonderful way to promote a sense of community and connection!  And as we work togther we can get to know one another, find the peace and harmony that Dr King believed in.  Take your kids, youth group, neighbors and friends and make a positive differecence on MLK Day.   Check out this awesome opportunity (link to the right)….plug in your zipcode and find a service project in your community.  So easy…..technology is amazing…..we can use it to connect and make our community a better place! 

Can you believe that there is an Adinkra symbol that represents this concept? 


“Help me and let me help you” 

We can learn this lesson of many years from the AKAN people ……..the concept of community is vey important!  We MUST work together to help one another.   So long ago…. the Akan thought the concept of reaching out to help a brother or sister was important enough to develp a written symbol…and remember that the tradition of passing things down orally was the norm……but this was one concept that  must have stood out……maybe they thought that it helped to have a visual reminder in support of comunity. 

  Have a beautiful MLK Day! 


Remember this great man   and remind others of how much he gave to our community
To find  the service and community projects in your area  check out the link to the right ……
  Let me know what you get done in your community!




Share Peace

September 21, 2009


The Adinkra symbol for peace and harmony is Bi Nka Bi which cautions us against strive and provocation
Celebrate International Peace Day with thThe Adinkra symbol for peace and harmony is Bi Nka Bi

KiaraBlu has a cute children’s design centered around this symbol!
It is on sale through Monday Sept 21.
Celebrate International Peace Day with this cute embroidered tee!

peace and haromony

peace and haromony

Teach Peace

September 15, 2009



Next week will be the 27th celebration of  International Day of Peace- Sept 21, 2009. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to impress upon the youth of the world the benefits of PEACE. If we work with the young impressionable minds of our young peple we CAN change the world! Working towards a peaceful world is something that starts at home. Giving our youth the tools to maintain a peaceful state of mind is a  very important life lession. Look for my upcoming post on ideas that you can engage in with the youth in your life.
To celebrate this day of peace we can all engage in activites to encourage peace in our homes, communities,
our nation and the world.
The concept of peace is one that is seen around the world in most countries, cultures and faiths.

The Adinkra symbol of reconciliation, peacemaking and pacification is MPATAPO.  The symbol is a bond or knot that binds parties in a dispute to a peaceful harmonious reconciliation.   I see it as a representation that when we are in dispute with another individual we are “tied  together” It is  the responsibility of each party in the dispute to FIND PEACE together.   If we all actively search for  where we can engage in peaceful actions  then the world WILL be a much more beautiful place.

Be sure to give the world some peace not only on Sept 21, 2009 but every day!!