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Updates from the Big Lunch, Legacy Day and Rochester Institute of Technology

On June 1, the South Wedge community of Rochester paid homage to 5 older South Wedge residents who played pivotal roles in the improvement of the neighborhood in the 1970s. Minister Lawrance Lee Evans was the only African-American pioneer in the group. The artwork pictured above was the award given to Minister Evans.



June 9 was the first Legacy Day without Minister Akilah. The adult students poured libation, two young students in our Charles Riley Tutorial Program performed "Reciprocity," and Sister Serwa Balkum, one of Minister Evans' former students, promoted  her latest book, Why Should I Cry! Prior to Minister Evans' presentation, Sister Veronica Howard, a newcomer to the Institute, gave an excellent presentation on her two year assignment as a Peace Corps worker in an Ashanti rural village in Ghana. She was given the name of Queen Mother Nana Akua Asantewaa by the matriarchal leadership of the community, and also displayed two stools from Ghana during her presentation.

On June 12, Minister Evans gave an outstanding class at Rochester Institute of Technology to ten clients of a nonprofit called East House. The hour long class was about African American history. Minister Evans had brought a number of display boards (all which dealt with black history figures, Kwanzaa, or past Institute events) done by his adult students to the class for illustration, and he asked the students to look at the display boards and take notes. Four students, all African-American, gave their interpretations of the various display boards. Minister Evans spoke very positively about the contributions of various heroes and sheroes such as George Washington Carver and Mary McLeod Bethune. He told the class to think positive of themselves.

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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.