Black History Month - Cultured Ministry Update

Posted on by YFC Seattle

By Chaffawn Smith, Cultured Program Director

BLACK EXCELLENCE

President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976. He called upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.

BLACK HISTORY FACTS

  • Computer scientist Lisa Gelobter assisted with the 1995 creation of Shockwave, essential technology that led to the development of web animation. (So we have her to thank for GIFs).
  • In 2012, at the London Olympics, Gabby Douglas became the first Black gymnast to win the Individual All-Around title.
  • Vice President Kamala Harris became the first Black woman and person of Indian descent to be sworn into that high office in 2021, and the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote, she also became the first woman with the title.

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Cultured has a large percentage of African American students. This month, we were able to celebrate our culture in the time where we are literally fighting for our lives everyday. If it’s not with police brutality, it’s with our own community.

The GIFT after the struggle is JUSTICE AND PEACE. We have been able to express our love for the community with the gift of dance. Dance, this year through the pandemic, has been a beautiful thing. It honestly has been the glue of our ministry. Dance and music have always been the means of expression to get through the struggle in African American lives. This month, my friends Isha Williams who lives in Kansas City, Wendy Elle who lives in Ohio, and myself who is in the “South End” Seattle had a cool idea to collaborate virtually. We created a dance that is multi-generational for Black History Month themed around Black Excellence. We had both Zoom and in person rehearsals to create something fresh and new.

We called it the Black Excellence Virtual flashmob.

I was in tears on how everything came together. God showed up in every step of the process as we rehearsed together; in prayer, discipleship, one-on-ones, and in our encouragement for excellence with these 10 Black young ladies. Furthermore, 30 participants young and old came together from different cities and states. 

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • See the Story: March 25th 
  • In-person Cultured Event: March 31st 

PRAY

  • Pray for the team to continue to grow and that the help that is needed will come to ease some of the pressure on the leadership team.
  • Praise Report: The last day of February at our Cultured night, we had 18 participants on our Zoom call. We are still going strong virtually and everyone was engaged in thee call that evening. It was fulfilling to watch. Not only that, but we had young people from different cities getting on the call as well!

DISCOVER

Jaiona is a student that lives in South Seattle. She is in the 11th grade, and has been involved in YFC ministries since the end of her eighth grade year. I met Jaiona at the time of her life where she wanted nothing to do with God. She was just getting out of a private Christian school and the word “religion” left a bad taste in her mouth due to the biblical standards she had to learn while there. As she has attended YFC camps and Cultured nights, Jaiona has become more open to God. This year during the pandemic, we asked the questions, “How are you feeling? How is your relationship with God?” Jaiona described to the team how she felt alone and abandoned. She explained that she has been living with her grandmother and her mother has treated her more like a friend than a mother. She felt depressed because of the shootings and killings in her neighborhood, the pandemic, and the pressure of keeping her grades up because of all the homework. And yet through all of that, Jaiona felt like she wanted to get closer to God. When I heard that, I leaped for joy knowing God was at work. I decided to put her in the leadership group to be discipled and exercise her natural leadership skills. During this year, she has been encouraging other students to get involved. She has been praying for others and has become a true leader for Christ. I’m so excited to see what God has in store for Jaiona!

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