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The 24th Annual Sylvester and Stacey Johnson Memorial Lecture

On August 30, 1986, a day that was supposed to be an afternoon of fun at Darien Lake Park (NY) for 37 year old Sylvester Johnson, his eight year old daughter Stacey and her friend Stephanie Kozuch, turned into major tragedy. A fire truck ran a red light (it was not going to an emergency; the truck was on standby at the Darien firehall) and slammed into Sylvester's car at the entrance of the park, killing all three passengers in Mr. Johnson's Plymouth sedan. The volunteer fire truck driver, age 21 at the time, survived the accident, and he was eventually fined ten dollars in April 1987 without serving jail time.

Ever since September 1986, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans, with the blessing of the late Sister Siti Akanke, the mother and grandmother of Sylvester and Stacey respectively, has held a memorial to honor the Johnsons and to bring attention to the issues of emergency vehicles running red lights under questionable circumstances. Sister Siti's eldest daughter, Sister Shiminege, the Institute's promoter of the Charles Riley Tutorial Program,  is sponsoring this year's memorial , to be held on Sunday, September 12 at 4 pm, at 219 Hamilton Street. All are invited; dinner will be served.

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We had a succesful First Fruits/Kwanzaa!

In Rochester, we just concluded a wonderful Kwanzaa season. From the folktales  and proverbs told during the 25 day First Fruits celebration; the African Mothers Day program on December 15 where the men presented the girls and women with flowers amid a last minute venue change due to inclement weather; to the stories about the various African nations told by Minister Evans' adult students between Dec. 27-30,;to Minister Evans' daughter Sasha Eloi-Evans' talk about her educational journey from Dominica to the US Virgin Islands to the mainland US, ulltimately ending up at the University of Rochester, where she is currently employed and working on her PhD, and to the finale on January 1 (our Kwanzaa feast), where we enjoyed some delicious food, exchanged gifts and a surprise donation of $1000 was given to the Institute! We thank all those who came to the Institute and/or St. Johns Home during the past 32 days, whether it was one time or from December 1 to January 1.




Complete First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule

Here is the 32 day long First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule of events as celebrated in Rochester Unless specifically stated otherwise, all events take place at 219 Hamilton Street at 5:30 PM
December 1: Kwanzaa Appreciation Program--open house, kickoff of 32 day First Fruits/Kwanzaa season; dinner will be served December 2-3, 5-10, 12-14, 16-17, 19-24: First Fruits storytelling, prayer and lighting of candles December 4, 11, 18, 25: Student Doology Hour--4 pm Sunday service, prayer after service; dinner will be served December 15: African Mothers Day--500 Webster Ave (School #33)-- females will receive flowers from men; program begins at 5:30 PM; refreshments available December 26: Umoja December 27: Kujichagulia December 28: Ujima December 29: Ujamaa December 30: Nia December 31: Kuumba January 1, 2017: Imani-Kwanzaa feast-- 150 Highland Ave (St Johns Home)--exchange gifts, bring dish to pass (non pork), entertainment; starts at 5:30 PM

We're coming to the end of the Kwanzaa Appeal

Obtaining resources to finance an organization is difficult. Since 1970, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.  has helped many families, organizations and individuals by our Charles Riley Tutorial Program (after school program), our cultural programs/activities, case management services and small business developments.
You can help by: 1. Donating bottles for our bottle campaign 2. Sponsoring Supporters Day: In Honor of Charles Riley--sponsorship is at least a minimum of $300.00 3. Giving a small donation of any amount 4. Advertising in our Program Booklet for Supporters Day.  Whole page $100; 1/2 page $50 and 1/4 page $25 5.Attend Supporters Day: In Honor of Charles Riley on February 17, 2017 (6 PM) at 219 Hamilton Street, Rochester NY 6. All of the above 7. Attend a special tea which will be held on February 18, 2017 (6 PM) at 219 Hamilton Street. RSVP only.