Africentric Youth & Family Rites of Passage Program (ROP)
Whats in it for my son?
Creative and innovative methods are utilized to explore a wide range of topics that help African-American boys internalize the Africentric principles by which the program is built upon:
· African Culture—Ancient Africa BC/BCE
· Social Etiquette
· Physical Health & Hygiene
· African Culture—Ancient
· Self-Esteem / Self-Discipline
· Anger Management
· Effective Communication
· Gang Diversion
· Father/Son Relationships
· Male/Female Relationships
· Dreams Path of Life
· Health, Exercise, Nutrition & Cooking
· Conflict Resolution
· Rules and Consequences
· Racial Profiling
· Domestic Violence & Abuse
· The Hidden Rules
· Money Sense
· Respect— Family & Community
· Social Media Dangers
· Post Secondary Education & Careers
Whats in it for me?
Emphasizing young boys interacting with other young boys to develop positive life styles, and positive solutions to life problems by recognizing their strengths, their talents and abilities is the core concept of the Africentric Youth & Family Rites of Passage Program. This highly therapeutic culture specific after-school intervention seeks to build character in young African-American boys. The concept of building character we feel, will ultimately translate into better school performance, more respectful behaviors and stronger family and community assets.
Under the guidance of well-trained and committed staff, experts from the community and a council of Community Elders who have a genuine commitment to their passage into manhood, young boys will internalize the Afro-centric principles by which youth and their families can become constructive contributors to their families and community, through a positive appreciation of themselves and their culture.
Who Qualifies . . .
African American males ages 11-15 years;
African American male youth and their parents/guardians who have experienced racism, discrimination and violence;
African American male youth and their parents/guardians identified through the criminal justice system, diversion programs, churches and religious organizations, community-based programs and local schools; and
Meet the minimum criteria as defined and set forth in the PEI Screening Tool.
Rites of Passage programs are a leading intervention for African-American males. BRAAF provide a safe, programmatically rich, no cost program to the underserved African-American population of Riverside County. Our facilities are culturally rich, comfortable and meet the highest standards and requirements in the industry. With our emphasis on evidence-based practices, positive skill development and high cultural regard combined with supportive therapeutic approach, our program is a highly effective solution for our youth.
The program offers a life-changing experience for boys as they strive to examine, explore, dissect, articulate and most importantly develop strategies that will help to eradicate the inter-generational challenges experienced by young and older Black males.
The goal of Rites of Passage is to simulate a culturally rich environment that presents practical strategies, techniques and solutions through the presentation of interactive modules of skills and knowledge, expert presenters, best practices and resources that will assist boys in developing realistic models and concrete recommendations they can put into practice in their own lives and communities. The modules are designed to offer programming and intervention strategies that are psychologically and cognitively appropriate for African-American male youth. ROP becomes a place for transformative action and communication where boys, staff and Elders (male & female) can share intellectual, emotional, spiritual and cultural opportunities for growth and development that improves the quality of life for African American males, their families and their communities.
We have purposely infused a discovery engine to help provoke meaningful knowledge. Our boys will be exposed to Art, Science & Technology, Culture & History, Literature, Creativity & Innovation, Media & Communication and Thought & Opinion.
Youth receive consistent and caring discipleship from skilled and committed staff and elders. Meeting the needs of our boys and helping them to discover themselves is the key to our success. Only within this context of a safe, trusting and supportive environment — along with strong parental and community involvement can long-lasting behavioral changes and empowerment be instilled.
The program encourages and supports academic achievement, however building character is not an academic undertaking, therefore BRAAF programming primarily focuses on strengthening awareness of moral obligations and the moral significance of choices (ethical consciousness), enhancing the desire to do the right thing (ethical commitment) and improving the ability to foresee potential consequences, devise options, and implement principled choices (Afriecentric competency). Specific language is used to reinforce core values - Responsibility, Respect, Restraint, Interconnectedness, Interdependence, Patience, Perseverance, Sacrifice, Spirituality, Cooperation, and Sharing – and we are firm and consistent in our teaching, advocating, modeling and enforcing these pillars of character in our youth.
In addition to the knowledge, skills and practice youth receive at the program site, the program is fueled with extracurricular and enrichment activities, weekend retreats, cultural and educational outings, opportunities for travel and opportunities to give back through community service projects.
Monthly Parent Empowerment Dinner (PED) is a fun, socially interactive, culturally-relevant intervention for parents and guardians of ROP participants to improve their effectiveness as the primary positive influence in the lives of their boys. PED empowers parents to succeed and reinforces parents’ sense of pride in themselves, their community, their history and race. PED is built upon the following guiding principles:
1. Parents want what is best for their children.
2. Parents know best what they need to be effective parents.
3. Parents learn best when they are involved in selecting the topics they want to focus on.
4. Given the right information and resources, parents will make the best choices for their children.
A fun parental meet-up facilitated by compassionate staff in the context of an empowering culture that:
· Treats parents with respect
· Believes that parents want their children to reach their fullest potential
· Supports the entire/extended family
· Establishes an inviting family gathering place
· Provides ample opportunities for networking and information sharing
NGUZO SABA PRINCIPLES for
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.