Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ujaama and Nia

On December 29, we honored Ujaama by discussing the importance of supporting black owned businesses, especially after the news of the brother from NYC who died on Black Friday at the Long Island Wal-Mart. At the Institute we have two members who are sole practitioners. The blogger of Doology is also the owner of LLWE Business Services Plus, and the audience learned a great deal about what is on a W-2 and the complexities of the EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit).

On December 30 (Nia), Brother Chris Powell gave a presentation on important black educators such as John Hope Franklin, Mary McLeod Bethune and Dr. Ralph Bunche. Brother Zeb Coleman talked about his primary role at the Institute, which is to sell the Black Koptic Press Release, our official print publication which is managed by Minister Evans.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Kujichagulia and Ujima

At the Kujichagulia observance at Brother and Sister Simms' home on the evening of Dec. 27, the young people in the Charles Riley Tutorial Program recited the 'Parable of the Eagle.' Brother Simms showed the audience his autographed copy of Dr. Karenga's book. Dr. Karenga spoke at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2003 and Brother Simms recalled his conversation with Dr. Karenga. Brother Simms gave homage to Minister Evans and Minister Dailey from the Outreach Community Center. Ministers Lawrance and Akilah Evans spoke about the importance of Kujichagulia also.

On December 28, both ministers told folktales pertaining to Ujima. Ujima, according to Minister Lawrance Evans, involves doing the right thing.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


On December 26, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. transitioned from First Fruits to Dr. Karenga's 7 day Kwanzaa celebration. Fifteen year old Jazzmin Kamau, Minister Evans' protegee, opened the ceremony by discussing what Umoja means and had her four students from the sophomore class, ranging in age from 4 to 9, name the flags from some of the African countries. Brother Brian Griffin gave a presentation on Sojourner Truth, and Brother Clinton Moore read as well. Minister Evans continued his lesson on the etymology of the concepts of "crab in the barrel" and "hipster/hippie," which all came from Africa.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

African Mothers Day at School #33 was a success!

On Monday evening (December 15), the halfway point of our First Fruits season,  First Community Interfaith Institute hosted a wonderful African Mother's Day celebration at School #33, hosted by long time Institute supporter and friend Ester Gliwinski. Two of Rochester's greatest nationalists, Dr. David Anderson (Sankofa) and Dr. John Walker gave us African folktales. The Institute's Cultural Renaissance Singers and the Watoto-Lumumba Dancers performed. Sister Renee Vick (pictured above with husband Joseph) was the subject of a special tribute for her work with prisoners and her overall community work. The program concluded with the men in the audience presenting all the women with a red carnation.

Monday, December 8, 2008

First Community Interfaith Institute performs libation at the University of Rochester

On Friday, December 5, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. went on a field trip to the University of Rochester for the Black Student Union annual Kwanzaa celebration, whose theme was "Embracing Love, Fellowship and Family." Minister Evans, along with some of the adult members/supporters and children in the tutorial program, performed a libation honoring some of our heroes and sheroes who have joined the ancestors.Minister Evans gave a brief lecture as well. There were also some excellent UR student performers as well, such as Sister Ashley Anderson, who performed a solo dance number. Everyone enjoyed themselves and people in the audience were particularly impressed with the children, who drummed during the libation.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

First Fruits began on Dec. 1!

On December 1, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. kicked off its 32 day First Fruits/Kwanzaa season with the Kwanzaa Appreciation Program. In the month of November (Constructive Action Month), the members and students were encouraged to just purchase essential (must-have) items. On December 1, we donated a portion of the money we saved by avoiding non-essential items/services to the Institute. Minister Evans and the adults did libation where we honored heroes and sheroes from the diaspora. The children blew the candles.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

PLATE ANEW, part 2

The "L" in PLATE ANEW is labor. Doology puts labor in its proper perspective. The witchcraft makers have used its white shadow's manifestation to make us believe that when we take a "siesta" (rest or nap after lunch) from our labor for ourselves is the same as when we go on "vacation"(interval of time devoted to rest from working for others.

Doology sees siesta and vacation in terms of when labor promotes our development and vacation as a rest from developing other people's development. Siesta and vacation put labor in a perspective of who benefits from our labor and what is done with our labor.

Labor is physical or mental work. In Western or European economic theory, labor is the human resource. For example, when you apply for a job, your first contact is the human resources department.

Africans in the diaspora have always used a large expenditure of labor in comparison to capital. In fact, for many years, we were "capital labor " (i.e. slaves). We were money to be uses by others as they saw fit and other labor as others demanded and commanded.

Siesta was not allowed and vacation was given at the convenience of the master/boss. Doology says that we must use our physical or mental abilities to build power for our people. We can take a siesta when we desire and when we are on their designated "vacation," we can labor for ourselves. Labor must be more than just to obtain material "playthings."

Historically, the mental destruction that has existed in the African diaspora has allowed us to see others' labor as being valuable and our labor for ourselves to be not valuable at all.

We must convert our love to labor for others into a love to labor for ourselves.

Friday, November 14, 2008

PLATE ANEW, part 1

We will begin to break down the nine parts of PLATE ANEW, an important concept in Doology.

According to Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr., we must overcome obstacles or opposition by looking for those who will help to include us in success. However, we must first include ourselves by having an understanding of PLATE ANEW. PLATE ANEW is about neutralizing the white shadow and the witchcraft makers in our minds.

"P" is for PAY
We must PAY for our freedom. Doology makes the point that freedom must be financed by our money choices. We PAY for the choices we make. Money is not just material, it is also spiritual. Money is a medium of exchange. Doology makes us understand that the media (TV, print, radio, etc. will not advertise our successes. We must understand our medium of exchange and must PAY for the way in which we are portrayed in the media. We must pay for the right to have a mental image of our God, our culture and our people's God. Just like we pay for things, we must pay for ideals, causes and principles.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Doology workshop on November 2

In Doology, Minister Evans uses the phrase 'PLATE ANEW' to describe seven important aspects of being proactive and serving your community. P is for "pay", L is for "labor", A is for "associate", T is for "time," E is for "effort", A is for "attitude," N is for "Nurture", E is for "energy," and W is for "win." These concepts will be discussed in further detail in the weeks ahead.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We salute you, President Obama and your beautiful family. We will be praying for you. Keep on doing you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A wonderful weekend at the Institute

On Saturday, October 25, our Ohio chapter, headed by Minister Gerald J. Evans (Minister Lawrance Evans' brother)came to Rochester for the annual trustee meeting/open house. We ate, socialized and learned about the possible changes for the 30th AAFRO Festival in July 2009 in terms of participation and fund raising requirements. The trustees reviewed the past fiscal year financial statements from both the national (Rochester) and Ohio offices.

On Sunday, October 26, Minister Lawrance Evans stressed the importance of using our gifts or talents to build or use for positive purposes. We must be impressed with what a person does with what (s)he has, not just what (s)he says or wears.

Don't forget the Doology workshop this Sunday (Nov 2) at 11 am, 219 Hamilton Street, Rochester NY and the Doology lecture at 4 pm Nov 2, 219 Hamilton Street. The workshop is geared towards doers and the lecture is geared toward followers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Family Hour on October 19

Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. noted that in order to hold other people accountable, you must hold yourself accountable first. Sometimes we place money as more important than people or time. In order to make changes in your life and your immediate environment, you must be active and not passive. Things do not happen if you do nothing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Family Hour on October 12

Minister Akilah stressed that without the 4 Ts: tenacity, talent, time and talent, you will never be successful. Minister Lawrance Lee Evans re-emphasized the importance of studying people and studying from books. Being a child of God is the highest calling.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Charles Riley Tutorial Program sells our church newsletter

Yesterday (10 October 2008), Minister Lawrance Evans, accompanied by some of our adult volunteer tutors, took some of the children in the tutorial program to sell our official publication, the Black Koptic Press Release. We walked one block over to South Avenue and Alexander Street, which is a busy intersection. The childen overall were very enthusiastic and sold quite a few newsletters. Minister Evans was pleased of the young people's efforts and noted that the children need to learn how to sell.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. invites you to join students of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans St. to activities on November 2, 2008 at the First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., 219 Hamilton Street.

As an organizer, case manager, educator, and minister, Minister Evans will demonstrate in a workshop at 11:00 AM and a lecture at 4:00 PM how he uses a discipline known as Doology to help him improve people's lives and coping skills.

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. is a spiritual and cultural organization plus a teaching church. Participants to the workshop and lecture will learn key communication strategies and what attitudes are needed to improve the community.

The workshop includes a continental breakfast and the lecture includes a dinner.

The purposes of the workshop and lecture are: (1) to give strategies for self-empowerment; (2) to increase community awareness about self-motivation; (3) to show how the community benefits from mutual respect and; (4) to promote cultural competence.

For more information call Minister Akilah Ife Evans at 585.461.0379 or 585.442.8712.

All funds that are raised will go to the Charles Riley Tutorial Program and the promotion of Kwanzaa activities.

NOTE: November 2 is the 38th anniversary of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. and the birthday of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans.

Friday, October 3, 2008

First Fruits/Kwanzaa 2008 schedule of events

Please visit our official web site, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. for the complete First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule. Three key events are:

  1. December 1, 2008: Kwanzaa Appreciation Program kicks off the 25 day First Fruits traditional Kwanzaa celebration.It begins at4:40 pm at 219 Hamilton Street, Rochester NY. We explain what First Fruits is, tell stories and say prayers and the young children in attendance blow the seven candles from the Kinara
  2. December 15, 2008: African Mothers Day, in which we honor all females, young and old, with flowers, as a toke of appreciation for their contributions as mothers and teachers. It takes place at 6 pm at School #33, 690 St. Paul Street, Rochester NY.
  3. January 1, 2009: Kwanzaa feast is the finale of the aforementioned First Fruits and the more popular 7 day Kwanzaa observation. We bring a dish of delicious food to pass, say thanks to God for bringing us a new year, and exchange gifts. This beautiful event will be at St. John's Home Auditorium, 150 Highland Avenue, Rochester NY.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Family Hour on Sept 28

Ministers Lawrance and Akilah Evans thanked everyone for celebrating Minister Akilah's birthday the previous week and for celebrating their 41st anniversary on Sept. 27. Minister Akilah discussed about false prophets and people who talk the talk but don't walk the walk. Minister Lawrance Lee Evans stressed that Doology involves thinking. God holds us responsible for the use of our gifts.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The tutorial program goes outside for a weekly walk

Every Friday before we eat dinner, we take the children in our Charles Riley Tutorial Program for a wak in the neighborhood so that everyone, adults and children, get exercise. Last week the weather was beautiful and the children played at the local playground. We planned to go back to Marie Daley Park today, but it drizzled and Minister Evans was reluctant to take the group far in the rain. This picture was taken on Averill Avenue, one block away from the Institute headquarters.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Family Hour on Sept 21

In an emotional Family Hour Worship Service in which Minister Lawrance Evans' wife and oldest student, Minister Akilah Evans, celebrated her 62nd birthday, Minister Evans praised his wife's sacrifices and contributions to First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. and stressed that although he has to hold frequent fundraisers to offset the expenses of running a church/tutorial program while competing with drug dealers and the negative other elements of street life that often keep black people from participating in a positive activity, he would rather do what he does best: teaching and organizing. It is what his grandmother prepared him for.

Minister Evans gets his props from an old friend

I came across the Jena 6 blog, which featured a passage written by Brother Amefika Geuka, a writer and fellow nationalist based in Florida who is a good friend of Minister Evans:

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Thank you for taking this moment to learn about a wonderful discipline called DOOLOGY. Minister Lawrance Lee Evans, a native of Warren, Ohio, developed Doology while he attended graduate school in Rochester NY. During his first semester of grad study at Colgate Rochester Divinity School (which had just added Crozier Seminary, the school where Dr. Martin Luther King received his divinity degree), he founded First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. is a spiritual and cultural organization, plus a teaching church, which was formed in 1970 by Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr., the National Minister.

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. has a Charles Riley Tutorial Program all year round and many events and celebrations through the year. From December 1 to January 1, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will be celebrating First Fruits/Kwanzaa. Minister Evans introduced First Fruits/Kwanzaa to the community of Rochester in 1970. Kwanzaa is important to First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., because it places emphasis on how important people are. People are our greatest assets. Kwanzaa also places emphasis on our children. That is why Minister Evans developed the Charles Riley Tutorial Program. Minister Evans recently received awards from A.B.O.V.E. and the Sankofa Festival for introducing First Fruits/Kwanzaa to the community of Rochester and working with children.

Memories from the 41st Minister Akilah Ife Evans Festival July 9-12, 2020

Photos were taken by Sister Tyjohnna Snow-Brown