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Paul Hillman

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On Saturday, May 8, 2010, from 1:00 - 3:00 PM members of the community and loved ones gathered to celebrate the Rites of Passage of newly initiated global leaders and healers who will effect change in their lives and the lives of others.

All ages came to honor 15 young women, ages 12-18, whom had spent the past 15 Saturdays demonstrating their discipline and commitment to complete this Rites of Passage process.

http://www.ghettogirls.org/riteopass.htm

This is the 16th year; Fatimah Halim has facilitated a team of elders to direct these young ladies to realize their power and potential to attain their highest and best goals. www.blueprintforwomanhood.com

Fatimah calls to the audience with accompanying music provided by the Kawambe-Omowale African Drum and Dance Theater who together opened the ceremony. http://kawambe-omowaleafricandrumanddance.com The procession represents these young womenís birthing into womanhood. They were led into this safe space by the Rites of Passage instructors.

The ceremony began by giving praise to and thanks to God and paying homage to their ancestors through the Libation Ritual.

The Rites of Passage Instructors were introduced and thanked for all the time they gave each Saturday, for their sharing of wisdom and resources to the Rites of Passage program.

Creativity is the soulís companion through the physical world. Kawambe-Omowale African Dance and Drummers continued to bless the daughters with a dance from their Motherland Africa.

Even Fatimah had an opportunity to join in with this celebration of meaningful movementÖ

The initiate daughters then had a chance to be heard as they revealed the expression of their souls before they received their certificates of completion.

These young ladies affirmed their commitment to perseverance, integrity and courage as they take on the responsibilities necessary to become global leaders.

Mothers of these young ladies were asked to come forth and stand with their daughters. The Family is the springboard from which the children leap into life. They tied on the head scarf as a symbol of the initiatesí transformation and readiness to cross the threshold into womanhood. On the eve of Motherís Day the articulated respect and devotion to mothers was stressed on multiple occasions during the ceremony.

These daughters read their commitments to uphold truth; stand for righteousness and support all that is good and Godly to God, family and community.

A call and response from the leader and audience was spoken as a final gesture of crossing the bridge.

In the spirit of dance the young women performed their initiation dances from West Africa as a concluding act of passing over.

The audience reveled in the joy and fulfillment of this moment for their sisters and daughters.

A final word of wisdom was left for the whole group to contemplate: an excerpt from the Sacred Formulas on Parenting by Tunde Ra and TaharQa Aleem was read. Even the smallest of children was able to grasp the significance and importance of this message.

Everyone left this inviting space with a feeling of being lifted up to embrace an effort to enhance our own ability to respond in a positive way against negative environmental and social influences that cause us to stray off our path of leadership in our community and world.

Through these young womenís experiences we too received a gift!!!!