Unity of Sisters Project
Unity of Sisters: finding our voices through poetry and storytelling
April – June 2014
Through North Side Learning Center’s (NSLC) adult and family literacy programs, it has become clear that women are often the bearers and teachers of culture, as well as the primary facilitators of change, within their families and communities. African women in NSLC programs have spoken to their goals and the challenges they experience in making the necessary societal adjustments which will enhance the life and safety of their families. Among the challenges is connecting with fellow community members with mutual understanding and respect. African American women, who share the work of promoting wellbeing and safety for their families and communities, can provide a unique perspective on the experience of being a woman of African descent in the United States in general, and specifically in the Syracuse area. The goal of the Unity of Sisters project is to create mutual cultural awareness; understanding; respect and collaboration between the African American and African immigrant communities in Syracuse, in order to help both foster success and security in our shared local communities.
By building these bridges on a direct and personal level, women and girls of African descent who are new immigrants or long term citizens, will strengthen and enrich themselves and their families.
The original organizers are Michele Abdul Sabur, Jackie Warren Moore, Janice Turner, Dr. Zaline Roy Campbell, Jackie Grace, and Phyllis Hanesworth. We are experienced educators, artists, business women and community activists, committed to forging mutually beneficial connections among our sisters of African descent, regardless of origin. We are looking for others to join us and are happy to work with any individuals or pre-existing groups dedicated to the same goals.
Our first project is a presentation of two four-week workshop series, funded by the Women’s Fund of Central New York, “Unity of sisters: Finding our voices through Poetry” and “Unity of Sisters: Finding Our Voices through Storytelling.” These programs bring together African women and girls who participate in NSLC programs and African American women and girls from the Syracuse area who will participate in literacy –based projects facilitated by Jackie Warren Moore, a well-known local poet and community activist, and Jackie Grace, an established local educator and professional storytelller.