4781Lessons for Kwanzaa from Pyramid of Peace
- Dec 17, 2010Hi from Chicago. I'm going to have a booth at the Malcolm X celebration
of Kwanzaa, which is an African American cultural celebration that takes
place from December 26th to January 1st.
Perhaps you'd like to add your thoughts and your creativity to my project?
As an artist, I'm going to depict the lessons I and others learned from
our stories of the Pyramid of Peace to avert genocide in Kenya in 2008.
Recently, accusations were made in the International Criminal Court
against six men suspected of fueling ethnic violence.
I and others understood at the time that somebody was deliberately
fostering the violence and we responded to good effect. I will tell my
As I tell my story, I will focus on *how* I and others learned and grew
and shared. I will also highlight our values at play, notably, our
deepest values in life. I will be drawing people's portraits and
depicting their values and showing how they might imagine themselves in
our story. I will draw human figures with which I can also describe the
events so we can discuss them. I will make photos and videos and that
will help tell the story.
Kwanzaa celebrates seven basic values of African culture:
* Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family,
community, nation, and race.
* Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name
ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
* Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our
community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our
problems, and to solve them together.
* Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores,
shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
* Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and
developing of our community in order to restore our people to their
* Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we
can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than
we inherited it.
* Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our
parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of
the above is taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa see
I'm going to focus on the values that we exhibited and note how
Kwanzaa's values came into play, rather than the other way around. I've
collected answers from hundreds of people about their deepest values in
life, and I'd like for people who come to think about their own and see
how theirs fit in among others, like stars in the sky, each seeing the
whole sky from their own vantage point. Kwanzaa is a new celebration
that I imagine is still finding its way. We lived through a profound
victory in Africa that inspires reflection on values.
In particular, I will note how the lessons I learned about engaging the
violent in the South Side of Chicago were key for our success in Kenya.
Monday, I will speak with organizer Jessica Holloway about my ideas. We
already discussed that I might lead video bridges with Pyramid of Peace
participants in Kenya and around the world. I also think there might be
broader interest that could lead to support for a Kickstarter project
that I might organize to document our stories, and ultimately, to apply
our experience in new challenges.
What lessons have we learned, large and small, thinking back? What
stories would we like to tell? Who would we like to hear from? What
creativity might we contribute to express our stories? I will tell my
story, and certainly, I hope you might tell yours, likewise, in the
Public Domain, for all to share creatively.
I'm glad to hear from us!
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