September Weeksville Weekends

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Weeksville Heritage Center

158 Buffalo Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11213

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Community As Classroom:

A Right to Passage: Initiation Rites and Nurturing Women’s Empowerment in the Black Community


Collective Panel Discussion: 1PM-3PM

Guided Tours: 2PM, 3PM, 4PM

Radial Family Charts Workshop: 4PM-6PM



When we educate woman, we educate a nation. Join us as we focus on the fundamental leadership role that women play in creating and sustaining community. Learn how to empower Black girls through rites of passage programs and hear from women who carry these ancient traditions forward.

Join us for a community discussion with
  • Janeen Etienne of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy
  • Dr. Lynda Day, Professor, Department of Africana Studies, Brooklyn College
  • Okomfo Nana Afua Ansa Ababio, Akoma Ntoaso Rites of Passage
  • Shawnee Benton Be The Tree Rites of Passage Collective for Women


Breakout sessions with panelists to follow. Remember: We cannot do it alone so brothas are encouraged to attend!

PLUS! FREE Guided Tours of the Historic Hunterfly Road Houses at 2PM, 3PM, and 4PM.

Finish the day with the Radial Family Charts Workshop, where you can make a poster based on plotting the birthdays of people in your life.



Break Out Sessions

Healthy Relationships

with Janeen Ettienne, Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy

Time: 3:00PM - 3:45PM

Max Participants: 25

Suggested ages: High School

    • Description: Participants will examine their relationships with others in order to visualize and define for them what healthy relationships are. From analyzing their own desires and needs in these relationships to the red flags and power dynamics of unhealthy relationships, young women will collectively engage in looking at relationships with others critically.

      1. Ifetayo values: Ifetayo, Ubunto

        • Ifetayo: (Love) We believe that love is the center of the work that we do. Ifetayo, Yoruba word from Nigeria, West Africa which means love is enough for joy. Restoring love and joy in our community through programming that reflects the richness of African culture.

        • Ubunto: (Connectedness) We believe in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term that roughly translates as human kindness. “I am because we are.”


Sing Bragoro Nwom (puberty rite song) & Dance Adowa

with Okomfo Nana Afua Ansa Ababio, Akoma Ntoaso Rites of Passage

Time Frame: 3:00PM - 3:45PM

Max Participants: 25

Suggested ages: 11-15yrs

    • Description: Participants will learn one bragoro nwom (puberty rite song) and its meaning. They will learn the importance of singing together as women and why it's done. The dance Adowa will be taught to accompany the song. The history and origin of the dance will be explained along with the significance of each hand gesture. The rhythm to the dance will be taught using hand clapping and the playing of the finger bell.


The 3 Phases of Womanhood: Growth & Transformation Through The Ages

with Shawnee Benton, Be the Tree Rites of Passage

Time: 3PM-3:45PM

Max Participants: 25

Suggested ages: Adult Women

    • Description: Women are in a constant state of evolution and each phase of their lives requires different tools, skill sets, resources and levels of awareness and support. Most women spend a great deal of energy trying to figure out who they are, prove their worth and “survive” the varied facets of their lives. This 45 minute session will provide women with the insight and tools to explore who they were as adolescents, who they are as an adult women and who they can choose to be as they continue to evolve into seasoned elders in the world. Shawnee will present the 3 phases and stages of womanhood and will assist participants with recognizing and harnessing their power as they navigate each of these phases with power, pride and purpose.


All programs are free on September 14th.





Date and Time

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Weeksville Heritage Center

158 Buffalo Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11213

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