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Minister Akilah's homegoing was beautiful!


Minister Akilah Evans, also lovingly referred to as "Ma Akilah" by the children of the Charles Riley Tutorial  Program, had a celebration of life fit for a queen on July 3 at Aenon Baptist Church. The celebration of life was the culmination of a three day remembrance. On Sunday July 1, the students of the Ministry School of Doology (adult students of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans) poured libation in an outdoor ceremony and discussed how this mighty woman contributed to their individual lives. On Monday July 2, people from all walks of life, from former students of the tutorial program to the political elite of Rochester, made their way to Aenon Baptist Church for the viewing. At the  homegoing, her children praised her, old friends described her business acumen and contributions to the Institute. Minister Evans gave a glowing eulogy that earned him a standing ovation from the full house. She was entombed above the ground in a crypt at Riverside Cemetery. Ma Akilah's legacy definitely lives on at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc!

Gwendolyn Vivian Dawson Evans, known affectionately as "Ma Akilah," was born September 19, 1946 in Youngstown OH to the late Earnest and Celeste Dawson. She departed this life on June 26, 2012.

The obituary continues here:

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Complete First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule

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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 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.




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.