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First Community Interrfaith Institute will celebrate Kwanzaa in eight days!

First Fruits, as celebrated by First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.,  will usher  the 47thAnnual Kwanzaa Celebration on Saturday, December 26, 
2015 and will terminate Friday, January 1, 2016 with a feast. All events 
will be held at 
First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., 219 Hamilton Street in the South Wedge neighborhood of Rochester, at 5:30 pm with the exception of the 
feast on January 1, 2016 (6 PM) at St. Johns Home, 150 Highland 
Avenue, Rochester, New York.

Each day a principle will be highlighted: December 26 is Unity(Umoja), 
December 27 is 
Self determination (Kujichagulia), December 28 is Collective work and 
responsibility 
(Ujima),December 29 is Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa), December 30 is Purpose (Nia), December 31 is Creativity (Kuumba), and January 1 
is Faith (Imani).
The Kwanzaa celebration will start at 5:30 pm every day, led by a student of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans,except on January 1, 2016, which will be at 6 PM at St. Johns Home. 
All questions or information…

We are now in First Fruits season!

On December 1, we kicked off our First Fruits/Kwanzaa season (32 days long) with the amazing Kwanzaa Appreciation Program: Showcase of Talent.
The Appreciation Program was tied in to our simultaneous 24 hour participation in the United Way of Greater Rochester's "ROCtheDay online fundraiser that benefits nonprofits in the Rochester area such as First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. The Showcase was split in two sections. The 5 PM section featured folktales and singing primarily. The 7 PM section, coordinated by Sister Elizabeth Cooper, was gospel oriented and her family participated in the program. We all enjoyed ourselves with the outstanding musical selections.


The second of the three key events in our First Fruits/Kwanzaa  is our African Mothers Day, in honor of the late Minister Akilah Ife Evans. This dynamic event will  take place on December 15, 2015 at School #33, 500 Webster Avenue (6 PM).  The theme is: Showcase of Talent.  Our students will show all their talents.…

Kwanzaa Appreciation Program--Showcase of Talent on December 1!

On December 1, 2015, at 5 PM, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr., National Minister of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., will  announce at its First Fruits/Kwanzaa Appreciation Program the schedule  of First Fruits/Kwanzaa celebrations, events and activities. The announcement will be made at 219  Hamilton Street. The theme for this year is “Showcase of Talent.”
First Fruits/Kwanzaa Appreciation Program is part of #GivingTuesday  of the United Way’s ROCtheday24 hour long online fundraiser and First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.’s annual Kwanzaa Appeal. In conjunction with "ROCtheday", the Kwanzaa Appreciation Program will  begin at 5:00 PM December1 and ending at 12:00 AM the next day.The adult students of  Minister Lawrance Lee Evans will give  historical and cultural presentations by different artistic forms--poetry, songs, dance, and prose (recitation).
Guests are invited to meet and see the students and obtain the schedule of First Fruits/Kwanzaa celebrations. Peopl…

Minister Gerald Scott offers two purposes for a Dred Scott Garden at Kan...

Dana Burns explains #urban #gardening at a Dred Scott Garden at Kanisa H...

Celebrate Minister Lawrance Lee Evans' 70th birthday on November 1!

I would  like to emphasize that we need our friends, family and associates to step up to help Minister Lawrance Lee Evans, the major financial supporter of the Charles Riley Tutorial Program.

Sister Tiffany listed ways in which individuals can help: give bottles, subscribe to the Black Koptic Press Release, write checks or a combination of these.

I would like to add that individuals who have benefited from the program can help by using their influence to have others to support the Charles Riley Tutorial Program.

Yes, please emulate Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. Also I must give kudos to Sister Jazz Kamau, goddaughter of Minister Evans, who has planned and is implementing a celebration for Minister Lawrance Lee Evans on November 1, 2015 (see attached photo invitation). What a wonderful gesture for a student who benefited from the Charles Riley Tutorial Program when she was attending Rochester city schools.





Ma Akilah Cultural Extravaganza

On Saturday, September 19, 2015,  two churches in the SouthWedge section of Rochester join forces to sponsor a tribute program of an influential SouthWedge resident who was the mother of one of the churches. On what would have been the 69th birthday of Gwendolyn V. Evans, better known as "Ma Akilah", First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. and Calvary St. Andrews Presbyterian Parish will sponsor the fourth annual Ma Akilah Cultural Extravaganza at 6 pm at 68 Ashland Street, the home of  Calvary St. Andrews.
For almost 45 years, Ma Akilah was married to Minister Lawrance Lee Evans. She passed in 2012, She worked side by side with Minister Evans from 1970 until her death, raising funds, teaching, ministering and editoring the Institute newsletter and organizing events. She also tutored in the Institute's after school program, the Charles Riley Tutorial Program.
Featured entertainment for the Ma Akilah Cultural Extravaganza include  Johnny Brown and his daughter Tyjohnna Sn…

Uhuru Week is coming!

To honor the 128th anniversary of the Honorable Marcus Garvey, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.invites you to our weeklong Uhuru Week activities. The venue for all activities is 219 Hamilton Street in Rochester NY. Orientation for the upcoming 2015-16 school year of the Charles Riley Tutorial Program will take place at the end of the presentations listed below. We hope to see you at least one of the events.

SUNDAY AUGUST 16 STUDENT DOOLOGY HOUR “AGAINST ALL ODDS-GARVEY AND NATIONALISM” Presenter: Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. Time: 4 pm MONDAY AUGUST 17 JOHNNY BROWN DEFENSE COMMITTEE “CREATIVITY: REMEMBER GARVEY” Entertainment by Brother Johnny Brown and Sister So-So Brown MC: Sister Brenda Lee Snow Time: 6 pm TUESDAY AUGUST 18 “Zulu Nation” Presenter: Brother Brian Griffin   Time: 6 pm WEDNESDAY AUGUST 19 “Akan Nation” Presenter: Brother Zeb Coleman Time: 6 pm THURSDAY AUGUST 20

Remembering Minister Akilah Ife Evans (Gwendolyn Vivian Evans)

On Friday July 3, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will host a benefit to raise funds for our upcoming trip to the 36th Annual FCII Festival next week in Elyria, Ohio. The benefit, subtitled "A Tribute to a Cultural Warrior," will take place at 219 Hamilton Street in Rochester at 6 PM.  The benefit will feature musical performances by Brother Johnny Brown and his daughter So-So, along with the poetry of Brother Jurrell Ellis II.

On June 26, 2012 Minister Akilah, the wife of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans, joined the ancestors after a long bout with cancer. She was laid to rest on July 3, 2012.

We hope to see you this Friday. Spend part of your holiday weekend with a church that promotes education for all.

Ministers Lawrance and Akilah Evans

Fathers Day program at First Community Interfaith Institute (Rochester)

This year First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will sponsor a Fathers Day program. The program, on June 21, features a presentation by Minister Lawrance Lee Evans called "A Culture that Nurtures Black Fathers: Eliminating 'Hands Up!' and 'I Can't Breathe!'" Please come and celebrate Fathers Day at 4 pm at 219 Hamilton Street and listen to Minister Evans. All faiths are welcome. Families are encouraged to attend this important event.

36th Annual FCII Festival is coming soon!

This is the press release sent by our Elyria chapter regarding next month's FCII festival:
News Release
First Community Interfaith Institute of Ohio (FCII of Ohio) P.O. Box 1616 Elyria, Ohio 44036 R.S.V.P. 440.366.3244 For more information contact: Dana Burns, 440-366-3244


36th Annual FCII Festival - July 9, 10, 11 and 12 First Community Interfaith Institute of Ohio (FCII of Ohio) is submitting this News Release about the 36th Annual FCII Festival to be held July 9, 10, 11 and 12, 2015 at LCCC and Kanisa House. The Theme for this year’s FCII Festival is “We’re the World”. FCII of Ohio has delivered vital services to the communities. The 36th Annual FCII Festival brings people of differing nationalities and faiths together to live, learn, work and play during the four days Event.

The FCII Festival is comprised of banquets, speakers, workshops, exhibits, and etc. Some of the highlights of this year’s FCII Festival are as follows:

* The Reception for the BSN (Business Support Network) * Ta…

"Doology: The Honorable Marcus Garvey's Whilwind Has Come" on June 6

On Saturday June 6, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will honor the memory of Minister Evans' maternal grandmother, Martha McMiller Jordan, with the annual Legacy Day celebration. At 7 pm, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans' keynote address is "Doology: The Honorable Marcus Garvey's Whirlwind Has Come." He will discuss upcoming Institute events and programs. Funds raised on June 6 will go towards the upcoming FCII festival in Elyria, Ohio and the educational programs at the Institute.

Everyone is invited to the Legacy Day program, which will be at 219 Hamilton Street.

Below is a video from the Malcolm X observation on May 19, which served as a Doology workshop.


Join us as we commemorate the 90th birthday of Minister Malcolm X!

On Tuesday May 19 at 6 pm, First Community Interfaith Institute will honor the legacy of Malcolm X. Minister Lawrance Lee Evans will conduct a Doology Workshop, which will include pouring of libation in Malcolm's honor, and brief presentations by his adult students. The workshop will take place at 219 Hamilton Street in Rochester, NY, with musical prelude by blues and gospel singer Johnny Brown and his daughter So-So. All faiths are invited. Refreshments will be served.


Dr. Ben makes his transition, funeral details announced

Dr. Ben makes his transition, funeral details announced

For those who were  not aware, legendary Afrocentric historian,author and professor  Dr. Ben joined the ancestors last week at the age of 97. Minister Evans knew Dr. Ben very well. Dr. Ben came to Rochester several times in the 1970s and 1980s and spoke at the University of Rochester. He also walked in the black community of Rochester and interacted with people. The above title link is from the Amsterdam News. Dr. Ben wrote countless books on Egypt and led numerous educational tours to Egypt. He will be truly missed. There are numerous speeches by Dr. Ben on YouTube.

We at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. express our condolences to Dr. Ben's family and friends.

The Meaning of Resurrection is upon us!

On Sunday April 5, 2015, the community is invited to attend our annual "Meaning of Resurrection" service. The "Meaning of Resurrection" takes place at 4 pm at 219 Hamilton Street. Minister Evans gives an alternative perspective of Jesus' resurrection. All faiths are invited.

Below is a video and some pictures from the very successful Women' History Month event on March 10, which would have been Sister Siti's 83rd birthday.







Join us for our Women's History Month program on March 10!

Here at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., we  have transitioned from our successful Black History Month to Women's History Month. As our way of paying tribute to our beloved ancestor Sister Siti Akanke, who was born on March 10, at 5:30 pm on March 10, 2015, we will pour libation for Sister Siti and acknowledge  our other she-roe ancestors in #Blackherstory. The program will be at 219 Hamilton Street, immediately after our after school session. Dinner and refreshments will be served.

We look forward to your participation on March 10. You will be in for a special treat.


We triumphed this Black History Month at the Institute!

The past two weeks has been monumental at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. On February 15, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans hosted a successful Supporters Day program despite extremely cold temperatures, then drove to the Kodak Theater on the Ridge to accept an Honoree ROC Award at the 3rd Annual ROC Awards.





More high praise came this month via Minister Evans' former employer, the Rochester City School District. At the Black History Month observance, Minister Evans received the Gate Opener Award for his accomplishments in the community and educating multiple students from the Rochester City School District over forty plus years. As usual, Minister Evans credited his grandmother Martha Jordan for being where he is today.

Doology Notes

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. invites you to our annual Black History  Month program, better known as Supporters Day, on Sunday, February 15, 2015 at 3 pm, at 219 Hamilton Street. Supporters Day is when we honor the memory of the late Charles Riley (1958-1997), whose birthday is February 17.  On Supporters Day you will get a black history lesson from three of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans’ adult students.Supporters Day is the final day of our Kwanzaa Appeal fundraiser.
Our Black History Month celebration continues on Friday, February  20 at  6 pm, at 219 Hamilton Street.  Minister Evans’ other three adult students will give a black history lesson.
On Saturdays we collect bottles throughout the city of Rochester, organize them at 219 Hamilton Street starting at 1 pm. You can drop your bottles and cans off at 219 Hamilton Street, or call 585-461-0379 to arrange a pickup. In addition, our Sister Siti Yard Sale begins at 1 pm every Saturday at 219 Hamilton Street. We have clothes …

There was power in our "hole in the wall" on MLK birthday!

For the open discussion on January 15,  in a packed house, we had a lively and positive conversation about our reflections on the life and contributions on Dr King.

Here are some of the takeaways:

Dr. King transformed between the "I have a dream" speech to his final focus on black economicsDr. King began to unify everyone once he expanded his viewpointsBecause of segregation, blacks were forced to practice cooperative economics. We gave up our tradition of supporting each other with integration.Dr. King was global- he traveled to Africa and Jamaica and was influenced by Marcus Garvey.It is extremely important to voice your opinion.Dr. King and his family were in harm's way consistently because of his beliefs.We need another leader like Martin Luther King today. The term "hole in the wall" is an African concept. Stay tuned--Minister Lawrance Evans will break it down in future Student Doology Hour services.




Join us on January 15 for an open discussion

To commemorate Dr. Martin Luther KIng Jr.'s 86th birthday, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans will facilitate a discussion on January 15 at 5:30 pm. Minister Evans' adult students will lead the discussion, which focuses on self-determination and empowerment. The program will be at 219 Hamilton Street.







First Fruits/Kwanzaa 2014 comes to an awesome end!

The finale of our Kwanzaa Feast (celebrating the seventh principle Imani  (feast) featured a rendition of "Take Me to the King" by two very talented female teen singers,  a poem by Minister Evans' goddaughter, the memory of our beloved ancestor Minister Akilah Evans through the words of Sister Brenda Snow and Brother Malik Evans, son of Ministers Lawrance and Akilah Evans, and a beautiful display with black history books and art. But most of all we had good food, exchanged gifts and had fellowship and First Community Interfaith Institute brought on 2015 with positive vibes. ASHE!

The next event in our Kwanzaa Appeal calendar will be the Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration on Thursday,  January 15, 2015 at 5:30 pm, at 219 Hamilton Street. Minister Lawrance Lee Evans will give a presentation on Dr. King's contributions and our Charles Riley Tutorial Students will be on the program.