The Marcus Garvey Cultural Heritage Program (MGCHP) is the foundation of our existence. Designed to offer African people the strongest sense and history of self, Ifetayo’s MGCHP runs year-round and includes a Saturday program as well as special workshops and summer cultural tours. The MGCHP provides historical information about the great cultures of Africa and the cultures of African descendents globally to over 160 youth and 50 parents annually. By learning the language and cultures of the African Diaspora, families develop a sense of connection with the vast and complex history of their ancestors.
“Forwards Ever….Backwards Never.”
-The Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey
The program has three active major components and two planned components:
Cultural History Classes: Ifetayo offers four weekly Saturday classes for youth aged 6-16 and their families. The classes introduce cultural awareness. Students can attend classes with their age group or with their parents. By offering a choice of four sessions, students are able to tailor these classes around their Cultural Arts class schedule. There are currently 50 youth participating in the MGCHP.
Malcolm X Annual Scholar Lecture: Targeted toward both youth and adults, this lecture series brings in African scholars and historians three times a year to discuss critical issues and trends relevant to the African Diaspora. In 2002-2003, Ifetayo sponsored a free film showing and seminar on the African presence in Asia and Australia for children and adults by leading scholar and historian Runoko Rashidi. The lecture served over 80 children and 160 adults. We were also fortunate enough to experience annual lectures by in-house scholar Dr. K. Bunseki Fu-Kiau and Dr. Marimba Ani.
Sankofa International Cultural Studies Exchange: This program offers students and their families the invaluable opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the cultures they have studied and establish relationships with an international community of peers and adults. Each year students and parents learn first-hand about their heritage by making a two-week trip to a country where African descendents have made their home. Prior to this summer trip, participants prepare by studying the languages and cultures of the countries they plan to visit. This program has enabled families that otherwise would have been unable to visit countries such as: Brazil, Cuba, Egypt, Ghana, Ethiopia, Jamaica and Senegal!
Language Institute: Targeted toward both youth and adults, the language institute is designed to provide free language classes to the community. The classes focus on the prominent language spoken in conjunction with our Sankofa International Exchange Program and Global Axe Conference & Tour. The classes are usually taught by an individual originating from the travel country and include cultural and historic information about the countries in which the language is spoken. Most recently, we offered Wolof, Amharic, French and Portuguese.
Film Series: The film series is designed to provide an opportunity for both youth and adults to view films written and directed by filmmakers of African descent with topics centered on historic and contemporary issues relevant to people within the African Diaspora. The film series is accompanied by a community dialogue with either the filmmaker and/or guest scholar. In the past, Ifetayo has sponsored free films and seminars on the African presence in Asia and Australia with discussions led by scholar and historian, Runoko Rashidi.
Visual documentation using photography and film, of Global AxÈ, Diasporic Cultural Conference and Tour hosted in partnership by Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, Brooklyn, NY and Ilê Aiyê, Salvador, Bahia. The conference and tour focused on the African cultural presence and Black liberation in Brazil, and diaspora development and in the areas of arts & culture, economics, social justice, politics, education, spirituality, ancestry, community, and ecological conservation. Workshop leaders and presenters were teaching artists, educators, politicians, and indigenous practitioners from the US, Brazil and Nigeria. This project was produced by Research Imaging Productions