Dr. Estella Conwill Majozo, author of “Ringshout! A National Rite of Passage for the New and Promised Generation,” will present a Rite of Passage – Train the Trainer workshop Sept. 8-9 at No Studios, 1037 W. McKinley Ave., Milwaukee.
The workshop is open to 30 individuals and is an invitation into African American culture that presents new possibilities for guiding, challenging and healing young people facing obstacles on their path to maturity, Dr. Majozo said.
“Akin to a Jewish Bar Mitzvah, Spanish Quinceañeras and African Man and Womanhood Training Rites, this rite enculturates young people into African American culture. It is intended for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of African American culture,” she said.
The Sept. 8 all-day workshop will surround the five challenges Dr. Majozo crafted around the word Xenia, which she explained is a term meaning love and the opposite of xenophobia.
“These detailed challenges engage the participants in rich historical and cultural content through an interactive, creative and communal experience,” she said. “It opens the door to understanding across racial and ethnic lines. Ringshout is a call to action in the 21st century.”
Led by Ringshout leaders who engage young people over a three- to four-week period, the project culminates in a public presentation of the initiates to the community, where they are pinned, presented with certificates, and acknowledged for their knowledge and readiness to assume responsibilities as a culture bearer.
“The rite is easily a companion to the rite of confirmation, as it makes direct relevance to the spiritual imperatives,” Dr. Majozo said. “I’ll conduct training the trainer workshop, detailing the process, present a Ringshout video on the process and follow it up with a discussion with the trainees. I will present the book, “Ringshout! A National Rite of Passage,” and explain in detail the curriculum detailed in the booklet. The trainer will essentially have to be initiated into the process. They will earn the meaning of the shinning, the male and female genealogies, the Ringshout dance, the symbolic sacrifice and much more.”
Sponsored by the Office of Black Catholic and Ethnic Ministries, the project was inspired by the New Ringshout: A Tribute to The African Burial Ground monument in New York City by the Houston Conwill/DePace/Majozo team, which is part of the GSA African Burial Ground Project. All initiates are encouraged to visit the monument sometime during their lifetime.
“My team has presented the project several times: a play presented to the community, various undergraduate courses at several universities, and initiation with a core group of 25 teens in Louisville, Kentucky,” Dr. Majozo said. “This is the first time the program will be presented in video form, and a training the trainer workshop.”
If you want to go
Sept. 8, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sept. 9, a public lecture from 2 to 5 p.m.
1037 W. McKinley Ave., Milwaukee
Contact: Fessahaye Mebrahtu, M.A., M. Div., Th.M., Director of Black Catholic and Ethnic Ministries, if you want to attend, at Mebrahtuf@archmil.org or 414-769-3393.