MISSION
VISION
LEADERSHIP / STAFF
RITES OF PASSAGE
RESILIENCY THEORY
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
YRI PRACTICE AREAS
YRI FAMILY
BOOSTER CLUB

 

RITES OF PASSAGE

Rites of passage is a timeless African tradition that intentionally guides a person's holistic development through life's transitions using cultural learning, rituals and ceremonies for the discovery of their purpose and responsibility to build healthy and just communities.

Rites of passage is culture specific, not universal. It is based on the multi-cultural premise that a group must recognize and affirm itself before it is able to share and appreciate the differences of others. Rites of passage also recognizes that entry into adult life involves the realization of social obligations and the assumption of responsibility for meeting those obligations.
Kiini Ujuzi
Initiation brings individuals into formal and explicit relations with their fellows. It also reaffirms basic social ties. Rites of passage provides self-development and cultural awareness, as well as a sense of belonging; adolescents and adults will become part of community life - not persons alone, lacking support, sanction, and purpose.

The Youth Resiliency Institute partners with The National Rites of Passage Institute - an international Institute that offers multiple programs in diverse setting and venues. NROPI has had success in developing and implementing programs in communities, schools, churches and prisons. All of its programs have clear commonalities.

• Important criteria for rites of passage:

• Culture and identity development is central

• Importance of place (place-based)

• Use of ritual and ceremony

• Intergenerational and coed

• Connection to the natural world (nature -based)

• Value-driven (Nguzo Saba)

• Self-Determination/Decision-Making/Locus of Control - People have the power to make decisions that are in the best interest of their group (centricity).

 

Passages provide participants experiences based on the Nguzo Saba, or Seven Principles, of Kwanzaa. These experiences will make the "passage" from childhood to adulthood applicable and open to participants in all cultures.


Participants internalize the seven principles:


1. UNITY

2. SELF-DETERMINATION

3. COLLECTIVE WORK AND RESPONSIBILITY

4. COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS

5. PURPOSE

6. CREATIVITY

7. FAITH

• Know their history
• Define who they are
• Respect elders
• Accept responsibility as a member of a family, a school, and a community
• Improve their environment

What are the benefits of rites of passage?


Nana Anthony Mensah/Photo courtesy of Antoinette Mensah

Rite of passage is a process of regeneration and rebirth. It is necessary for regenerating and replacing ourselves at the various stages of the circle of life. Every life transition includes the death of the previous stage and the birth of the next. This is true for birth and death. Every passage begins with an ending and ends with the beginning.

The process for rites of passage reflects three phases, which are pre-liminal (separation), liminal (transition) and post- liminal (incorporation).

Birth, as a rite of passage, reflects the three phases: Separation or severance, commences with the onset of labor, the process of separating from the womb. The journey through the birth canal constitutes the transition. Delivery, the first breath, and the cutting of the umbilical cord literally embodies the incorporation into independent corporeal life.

Rites of passage is a process for becoming whole, human and a productive and contributing member of the family and community. It is a developmental process that incorporates transitional ritual at the end of each preceding life stage.

 

The Youth Resiliency Institute’s Rites of Passage Process

Youth grow up in communities not just programs. Rites of Passage frameworks that aim to develop the total person must address the young person’s ecology, which encompasses their social and physical environment. YRI immediately meets youth where they are and is grounded in the concept of what it means to be a human being who can make sense of the world in relation to hegemonic power.

The Youth Resiliency Institute’s Rites of Passage (ROP) process provides youth with the conceptual tools to give voice to political demands concerning community, cultural rights, racial/gender inequality, governance, belonging and citizenship, while helping participants develop the prerequisite cognitive-behavioral skills to foster stress management, empathy, and negotiate intrapersonal relationships.


All children and youth who participate in YRI core offerings complete “Ujima cultural organizing projects” that prepare them for their rites of passage. YRI cultural organizers learn to collaboratively work, to take responsibility for their own actions, to take different approaches to complex problem solving, to develop African “susu economics” business plans, and to evaluate their own performance with an understanding of the need for life-long emancipatory learning and civic participation. Once the YRI cultural organizer completes all of the cultural organizing requirements, he or she is then invited to become a YRI Rites of Passage candidate.

Recognizing the importance of continuity of adult support over time, YRI’s Rites of Passage process is designed to keep a young man or woman involved until at least their 21st birthday.

Please send an email to info@youthresilencyinstitute.org to learn more.

 

MISSION
VISION
LEADERSHIP / STAFF
RITES OF PASSAGE
RESILIENCY THEORY
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
YRI PRACTICE AREAS
YRI FAMILY
BOOSTER CLUB

Donate | Join us on Facebook!

info@youthresiliencyinstitute.org | 443.934.1972 | P.O. Box 592, Baltimore, MD 21203

© Copyright 2012 – Youth Resiliency Institute – All rights reserved

The Youth Resiliency Institute is a program under the umbrella of Fusion Partnerships, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the state of Maryland. The Youth Resiliency Institute is dedicated to inspiring realization of the authentic self in children, youth and young adults in Baltimore. We encourage and support authentic living in the service of just, joyful and sustainable communities.