Still Fighting for Freedom!
On Friday, May 23, we had one of the best days in our five year history. Our scholars and servant leaders dedicated the entire day to standing up for freedom, justice, and equality as they shared their year-long projects that came from their essential questions of freedom. This is what we call our SBA to HEKA festival. As some of you know SBA is a Kemetic (Ancient African) term that we interpret as “deep thought”. Heka is a Kemetic term that we interpret as “righteous action”. Here at Sankofa, we believe that education is a process designed to take us from deep thought to righteous action; which should result in deeper thought and more righteous action. Of course that is what education is about in a real freedom school.
Well, if anyone wondered what Sankofa is, on Friday, we sent the message out loud and clear: Sankofa Freedom Academy is a Freedom School in the tradition of the freedom schools movement which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Just like our ancestors and elders from 1964, our children stood up for civil and human rights for those in our society and our world who far too often are denied basic necessities like food, housing, and education. Our children also stood up for concerns in the Frankford community that can make it a better place to live such as the Freedom Garden.
Over the next two editions of the Sankofa bird newsletter, we will feature some of the projects from this amazing day! The day started with a March for Justice that began with the middle school emerging leaders marching to Paul street to pick up our elementary scholars. It ended in a Rally in Womrath Park. Children carried signs and banners as they chanted and cheered to bring attention to their causes. The kindergarten students stood up for early childhood education. The first grade stood for healthy eating in our community. The second grade spoke out against hunger. The third grade wants to bring back the arts in schools throughout the city. The 4th grade continues its fight against food deserts through promoting the Sankofa Freedom Garden. Fifth grade campaigned against cuts in education. The sixth grade had a concern for homelessness and campaigned for housing as a human right. The seventh grade stood against mass incarceration of juveniles, and the 8th grade is insisting that we protect our sacred ancestral burial grounds.
Finally a group of middle school sisters stood up for the Nigerian girls who have been kidnapped from their school. All of this was happening while the 9th and 10th grade held their Poetry Slam: Speaking their truth with and for incarcerated youth. The 11th grade sponsored their media literacy workshops and the 12th grade finished up their senior exhibition presentations from their social justice internships. The young people who stood for justice in the 1960’s left us a powerful legacy. I am so proud that the scholars and servant leaders of Sankofa Freedom Academy are continuing that legacy to this day. Our fundi, Ella Baker, must be proud. I know that I am!
Freedom Writers 2014
In 2012, a reported 10 million children suffered from parental incarceration! The Philadelphia Youth Network: Sankofa Freedom Writers have recognized the magnitude of the effects of mass incarceration on children and families and decided to take a stand. By signing this petition, you are joining us in advocating for the following recommendations for change in local and federal policies.
1. Allocate funding for community and school-based programs which serve and support children with incarcerated family members
2. End policies that evict families due to the incarceration of a member of the household
JOIN US IN UPLIFTING LITTLE SOULS AND FREEING BROKEN FAMILIES!!
That's why I created a petition to The Pennsylvania State House, The Pennsylvania State Senate, and 4 others.
Will you sign this petition? Click here
Mission and Vision
Sankofa Freedom Academy is a college preparatory K-12 freedom school that will build on the Philadelphia Freedom Schools model to increase literacy and numeracy levels throughout the community, promote respect for scholarship, servant leadership, conflict resolution, and cultural democracy. Through the use of African Centered and culturally responsive methodologies, Sankofa Freedom Academy will engender in its students, staff, and community a love for learning, pride in heritage and a commitment to personal and societal transformation. By operationalizing the adage, “each one / teach one”, Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School will build intergenerational learning communities in which each and every person is responsible to learn in order to teach, and teach in order to build a better world .
Title I Parent Notification
Sankofa receives Title I funding and is included under the regulations of the “No Child Left Behind Act” (NCLB) that was signed into law by President Bush on January 8, 2002. NCLB is designed to improve student achievement by increasing federal involvement in public education both at the state and local level. NCLB requires significant changes to schools that receive Title I funding. To see the details, please click the link to the left titled "Title I Parent Notification".