Sankofa Project-Peace Window
Our communities are torn asunder, seeking answers to the senseless violence that claims far too many lives. We acknowledge the myriad factors that produce and exacerbate the pervasive violence: Racism, the lack of a quality education, the divestment and scarcity of economic opportunity, gang-barbarity and the rampant abuse of drugs. These are but few of many ingredients to the brewing violence in our city and country.
However, we, as Christian youth, see yet another element that underlies this epidemic: spiritual malnutrition and the absence of a strong value-system. Our mission is to inspire our generation to practice and promote “peace precepts”, or tenets that guide our lives. "Peace is not what we ask for. It is who and what we are. Peace is what we do, say, and share." #internalizepeace
Sankofa-Peace (Stained-glass) Window
The image of the Sankofa bird is a potent symbol that represents the sacred relationship between past, present and future. The bird is pictured looking backward with the egg of the future in its beak. The bird is believed to constantly look back to check her egg even as she moves forward. The derivative principle is “one cannot move into the future until she/he has embraced the past.” We believe that it instructs us to reach back into the past, where the values of the extended-family carried with it a high-regard for human life and dignity. Sankofa signifies our desired return to these values; peace in our streets cannot return unless we embrace the values that will spiritually restore our households and neighborhoods. We envision living in a city that mirrors an ideal village; residents become trusted neighbors as peace and trust permeates our thoroughfares.
The “West Window” at the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church will fully encapsulate our mission and vision. The stained-glass structure depicts Jesus, the Christ, guiding a group of young children ‘back’ to a place of serenity. The children are understood to be the victims of pointless violence and their likenesses will join the “Prince of Peace.” The “four little girls”, Carole Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Rosamond Robertson and Cynthia Wesley will hang atop the rose window, and more recent victims will hang below. Hadiya Pendleton, Eric Morse, Leroy “B.J.” Brown, Blair Holt, Derrion Albert, and Laquan McDonald are youth that are currently being considered. Their stories, as a whole, represent the suffering that the community bears when an innocent life is taken. The “Sankofa Peace Window”, once unveiled, will serve as a call to action; forever reminding each generation to honor the sacrifices of the past, lest they be in vain. Our youth, including the youth from various churches across the city and country, will raise approximately $100,000 toward the installation of the Sankofa-Peace Window: the Children of God shall lead this charge. #Romans 8:6 #Matthew5:9