April 2, 2015

CHN Rites of passage inititive

What you help children to love can be more important than what you help them to learn.
— African Proverb

As a part of its mission, Community Healing Network (CHN) seeks to promote the optimal development of children of African ancestry. Our vision is a world in which all Black children love what they see when they look in the mirror, believe in themselves, and are prepared to take their places as world-class leaders of excellent character and purpose.

We believe that this can best be accomplished through African-centered rites of passage programs that incorporate the principles of emotional emancipation, healing, wellness, and empowerment. Rites of passage programs can help children learn essential skills for living, and ground them in a multi-faceted understanding of African and African Diaspora culture, values, and strengths. They can also teach vital emotional wellness skills to help our children flourish in a hostile world--a world that still does not fully value Black lives.

CHN is delighted to be working in collaboration with Dr. Theresa Montgomery Okwumabua, a licensed Clinical Psychologist and developer and author of the acclaimed “Let the Circle Be Unbroken Rites of Passage Training Program,” which has been recognized as exemplary and “worthy of replication” by the United States Department of Health. Our aim is to incorporate the principles of emotional emancipation into the “Let the Circle Be Unbroken Program,” and work with leaders in New Haven, Connecticut, CHN’s home base, to co-create a rites of passage initiative that: 1) meets the needs of young people of African ancestry in and around New Haven; and 2) might ultimately be adapted for use by other communities.

Our initial Rites of Passage Community Forum entitled “An African-Centered Approach to Positive Youth Development” will be presented in cooperation with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and held in New Haven on Friday and Saturday, April 17 and 18, 2015.