The Sankofa Cultural Center
“ Man alone a form of animated nature is the creature that has moved into an adaptive zone which is an entirely learned one. This is the zone of culture, the man made, the learned, part of the environment”- Ashley Montague.
is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit cultural organization dedicated to preserving and teaching the richness and beauty of African culture through economics, the arts, agriculture, entrepreneurial ship, life skills, community; infused with a holistic approach of African principals.
Sankofa is a Ghanaian term that means “go back to the past and bring forward that which is useful.” The ultimate goal of the program is to improve the conditions in a specific area that are stricken with poverty and crime. The Sankofa Initiative region is a special area for several reasons, for having a primary African American population, the potential political control and cultural identification, ownership of resource in markets and most important this area has suffered extreme social-economic deprivation that has existed for over 40 years. The Initiative will assist in the elimination of the “capital drain” in the Black community and the challenges they face to compete in every kind of business in every community. Culture is life – the morals, beliefs, social structure, political and educational systems, forms of music, dance and all other creative expression.
To have some competitive advantaged that will help implement vertical growth with businesses, producing more jobs, reducing crime and strengthening the community structure. To achieve this goal Sankofa will offer many programs are along with resources within the community.
The mission of the Sankofa Cultural Center is to recover, research, collect, preserve, interpret, teach and promote knowledge and appreciation of the rich, ancient and varied culture of African people with emphasis on African Americans. Through educational programs, communal and public dialog, collections, exhibitions and other initiatives, we engage and serve participants of varying ages, interests and walks of life. Moreover, our cultural project poses historical and current African paradigms as a framework and foundation for thought and practice directed toward addressing the critical issues of our time. Thus, undergirding our work is the interrelated African-centered invitation and challenge: to know the past and honor it; to engage the present and improve it; and to imagine a new kind of future and forge it in the most ethical, effective and expansive ways.
To empower African American communities through a high quality of life and taking back our neighbourhoods and transforming them into the communities they once were. To build an inclusive and accepting environment wherein the community works together to create positive/ powerful change in North Jacksonville.
Theory of Change
In order for positive and radical change to take place in the African American community, we must continue to strengthen its efforts to be self-determining. To this end, The Sankofa Initiative believes that it must provide support to organizations developing and implementing innovative solutions to the challenges of our community. As self-determination is a key value of our work, we place a particular emphasis on those efforts that seek to build and strengthen the institutions constructed and led by the African American community.
Through this journey, the core values, mission, goals, name, focus, and contributions are determined and are listed below.
Cultural Enrichment Program is designed to cultivate and optimize the untapped potential of the African American community and other diverse neighborhoods that often are underserved by mainstream infrastructure.
- Rites of Passage: Manhood Training/ Kuonguza “Guide”
To empower and encourage young men with morals and values that will last a lifetime; while building character that will enable them to transition into successful men.
- Conversations with our Daughters: Self-esteem/ self- awareness
To implement a program that will stimulate girl youth to assess their own attitude, values and beliefs on the issues that affect them.
- Conflict Resolution:
Building the Skills That Can Turn Conflicts into Opportunities
- The College Leadership Seminar/ EWC
Develops leadership among one of our community’s most valuable resources the college educated population
- Tomorrow’s Answer: Volunteerism/ Community
Developing strong minded, pro-active, responsible youth who grow to take leadership in the community
- Community Rallies/ Forums: Teen Summit
Group Activities, Teaching and Instruction, Critical Thinking, and Problem Solving
- The Educational Directives After / During School Program
In addition to helping students complete daily homework assignments, volunteers will help children to improve reading, writing and math ability and develop positive life skills.
- Community Forums: (for men only)
Monthly Dialogue focusing on Healing, Dealing, Revealing, Unemployment, Resources, Health, Communication, etc.
The Sankofa Center provides resources to help African-American owned businesses overcome common pitfalls and grow. Workshops will focus on:
- Writing business plans,
- Money management
- Credit repair
- Grant writing
- Home ownership
- Partnership development
- Technology, etc.
- Teen Homeless | Agriculture
- Indoor/ outdoor farming of non-GMO foods and fish
- Working shops on farming and understanding agriculture
- From the ground the shelf business model
- Finance Training: Money management, entrepreneurial and investment.
- During School and After-school program
- World Economics
- Cultural Identity
- Wealth Building
- Investment club
- Policy planning groups
- Group politic
- Vocational classes/ trade-training; i.e. plumbing
- Soul Sessions:
A monthly lecture/discussion series presenting local, national and international speakers who provide focus on critical social issues as well as historically important topics. Soul Sessions also offer artistic expressions of African culture through slide and power point presentations, plays, movies and exhibitions.
- Quarterly Community Newsletter: (possible partnership with black on newspaper/EWC)
The Vision is a monthly newsletter designed and produced by the Sankofa Cultural Center youth. The newsletter includes articles, announcements, commentaries, editorials and advertisements, which keep the community aware of events, opinions and concerns of its African American members. The newsletter will be written/edited by students, or aspiring journalists.
The Sankofa Culture Center will become a major destination spot for Jacksonville because of the manufacturing, tourism and ongoing workshops it provides. Children are wealth.
Through partnerships with the Juvenal Justice system we can curb youth incarceration by at least 30%. Through partnerships with DCPS, clerk of courts and our aggressive outreach program.
“Culture is a set of shared behavior and ideas which are symbolic, systematic, cumulative and transmitted from generation to generation. It is the structure of language, customs, knowledge, ideas and values, which provide a people a general design for living and patterns for interpreting reality. As part of a people’s worldview, cultural values help to define, select, create, and recreate what is considered good or valuable….”(Nobles 1985: 54)