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Ifetayo is a movement. It is a place where the values, strength, and creativity of the African Diaspora empower, embolden, and elevate youth and families.

meet our executive director

Naima Oyo-Simon

 

 

 

We are delighted to announce that Naima Oyo-Simon has been selected as the new Executive Director of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy. Naima has a deep background in community investment and impact, alongside her intimate knowledge of the organization both as former Board Chair and Ifetayo parent. Between a steadfast commitment to community-led social transformation and an ambitious vision for our future, she embodies the values of Ifetayo, and is ideal for the role. 

As Ifetayo moves into its 31st year, Naima takes the helm at a pivotal moment where we are focused on an impending move to the Bedford Armory and subsequent expansion. 

We are incredibly gratified to have a home-grown leader to take us into this phase, who will work in conjunction with our Board, our staff and other stakeholders to strengthen the organization and ensure the highest quality of program delivery. We are confident that she will lead us into a new era of excellence and sustainability. Welcome aboard, welcome home, Naima!

Ifetayo offers African-centered, multi-disciplinary arts & cultural education, and wrap-around supports for the whole family. Many of our classes and workshops are free or priced affordably to ensure access for all.

We offer six major programs serving over 2,000 students and their families annually. Each student’s talents are celebrated to provide an enriching learning experience. Our programs are carefully designed to promote self-awareness and inner growth, knowledge of African culture, the meaning of community and the importance of respecting and loving one another.

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There is an old African proverb that says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This lies at the very heart of Ifetayo. We believe in the immeasurable potential of each young person that crosses our door and in the great heights our community is destined to achieve if we work together.

Through African-centered arts and cultural education, and holistic supports for the whole family, we instill in our youth a sense of pride: pride in themselves, pride in their culture, pride in their community. We will have succeeded if every young person leaves our programs with both roots and wings; roots to ground them in the rich culture and heritage that is their birthright, and wings to take them to unimagined heights so that they can change the world around them.

With LOVE from Ifetayo

Generously supported by

©2019 Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy

Ubuntu

(Connectedness)
We believe in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term that roughly translates as human kindness. “I am because we are.”

Sankofa

(Critical Reflection)
We believe that learning from the past is critical to building for the future. Sankofa is a word in the Akan language from Ghana that translates as “reach back and get it” (san-to return; ko-to go; fa-to fetch, to seek and take).

Mbongi

(Collective Decision-Making)
We are committed to collective decision making in developing and delivering excellent programs. Mbongi (Kikongo) which means “Place of Learning” and is essentially a system of governance that brings people together to resolve community challenges.

Ifetayo

(Love)
We believe that love is the center of the work that we do. Ifetayo, Yoruba word from Nigeria, West Africa which means love is enough for joy. Restoring love and joy in our community through programming that reflects the richness of African culture.

Kiujumla

(Holistic)
We believe communities are strengthened through approaches that are comprehensive and holistic. We are therefore committed to the development of the whole person; mind, body, and spirit.

Our Values

Kiumjala

(Holistic)
We believe communities are strengthened through approaches that are comprehensive and holistic. We are therefore committed to the development of the whole person; mind, body, and spirit.

Ifetayo

(Love)
We believe that love is the center of the work that we do. Ifetayo, Yoruba word from Nigeria, West Africa which means love is enough for joy. Restoring love and joy in our community through programming that reflects the richness of African culture.

Mbongi

(Collective Decision-Making)
We are committed to collective decision making in developing and delivering excellent programs. Mbongi (Kikongo) which means “Place of Learning” and is essentially a system of governance that brings people together to resolve community challenges.

Sankofa

(Critical Reflection)
We believe that learning from the past is critical to building for the future. Sankofa is a word in the Akan language from Ghana that translates as “reach back and get it” (san-to return; ko-to go; fa-to fetch, to seek and take).

Ubuntu

(Connectedness)
We believe in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term that roughly translates as human kindness. “I am because we are.”