The Journal News.com (Westchester, NY), July 10, 2005
In the African tradition, libations were poured to the north, south, east and west to begin the second annual African Diaspora Festival yesterday at the CEJJES Institute. The event, presented by the institute in conjunction with Naomi’s Program of Excellence, celebrated the arts of Africa.
“What we’re really trying to do is show the whole diaspora,” said Heather Carty Ward of Chestnut Ridge, executive director of the CEJJES Institute. “We wanted to show how beautiful it is and to build bridges.”
Dancers, poets and storytellers entertained the crowd and taught children about their heritage.
“As parents of children mainly of color, it’s our responsibility to educate them so that they are fully aware of where they came from and fully aware of what our ancestors have done to bring us where we are today,” said Pat Hurlock of Chestnut Ridge.
“Storytelling was always a fascinating thing,” said volunteer Dennis McGloster. “Storytelling was how we got information before people knew how to read or write, and it was how we got our messages across, and it’s a big deal right now.”
Subjects Covered: diversity training, education, storytelling festivals