You know the thing about being “woke?” No matter how woke you are, you are never woke enough, because there is always something your woke behind didn’t know about. For my self proclaimed woke self, finding out about Brotherhood and Sister Sol Monday night for the FIRST time had me feeling asleep.
Executive Director and Co founder of Brotherhood Sister Sol, Khary Lazarre-White empowered us with his talk inspired by Love, Justice and Transformation: Movement Building. He was able to detail the ways that Brotherhood Sister Sol has created space for black and Latino young men and women to learn about self, others, their community…let me, let them tell it:
“Founded in 1995, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (Bro/Sis) provides comprehensive, holistic and long-term support services to youth who range in age from eight to twenty-two. Bro/Sis offers wrap around evidence-based programming. The organization focuses on issues such as leadership development and educational achievement, sexual responsibility, sexism and misogyny, political education and social justice, Pan-African and Latino history, and global awareness. Bro/Sis provides four-six year rites of passage programming, thorough five day a week after school care, school and home counseling, summer camps, job training and employment, college preparation, community organizing training, and international study programs to Africa and Latin America.”
Can you say woke?
Once Lazarre-White completed his talk he introduced us to The Peace Poets. And I was not ready! Check out one of the poems they shared with us “All for you” dedicated to all our loved ones on “lock down.”:
So how woke is Brotherhood Sister Sol? They have Rites of Passage programs, Leadership Programs.They take students on trips around the world, specifically but not limited to South America and Africa. They make clear that all of their students and staff connect through our common lineage of Africa.
During Lazarre-White’s talk, I went immediately to the website to a find a way to join this woke community. You can volunteer through being a mentor, guest speaker, giving of your time and talent to help execute events and you can come up out ya pocket and put your money where your mouth is.
“The Brotherhood/Sister Sol is more than a community center for young people; we are a family of educators, counselors, advocates, friends, and mentors who provide a safe space full of resources and love for our members through holistic programming and activities.
As a volunteer, you add to the network of support we provide for our members. Whether you are a mentor–directly working with our members as they grow and learn, a member of The Friends of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol–planning fundraising events, or an extra pair of hands–assisting with special projects or a guest speaker, we welcome your contribution to our family.”
SideBar: For those of you who attend an organized religious institution, I’m sure you pay your tithes and offerings as a member of that community. For those of you who do not attend an organized religious institution, like myself, I want to offer you a thought. You can give tithes and offerings to organizations that do work, that you believe in. Choose one organization and give your offering, weekly, monthly for a year or longer. You can choose to give to many organizations and rotate when you provide your offering. According to The Atlantic, the black buying power is expected to reach 1.2 trillion dollars this year. Imagine if we used some of that spending power to support the organizations that support our communities?
Another great thing, is that Brotherhood Sister Sol loves us so much that they have collected their experiences in helping to transform the lives of students, through an understanding of their diasporic connection, the dissection of sexism and patriarchy, the development of leadership and using the arts at the cross section of social justice and turned it into a curriculum that we can purchase and execute in our homes, schools and communities.
My 3 hours with Lazarre- White and The Peace Poets, left me so ready to continue to do this righteous work. And it reminded me that we are all artists and all interconnected. Cread Commandment 5 says, we must expand our repertoire of resources. Here’s an amazing resource; the curriculum, the art, the mission and the message.
Deep thinkers only!