Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Volunteers Needed

aya logo vector 2016
AYA Educational Institute needs some Grand Ma's and Grand Pa's hands to support our innovative national African-centered educational initiatives for youth and adults. (
Not a grandparent, we NEED your help too!!!
We need volunteers for 1.5 - 3.0 three hours per week to interact with our students and parents. You'll be working with AYA faculty and staff, so in many cases you can learn with the students. You don't have to be an expert. Most times they just need a caring and guiding hand and someone who believes in them and their potential.
Various times are available: school day, afternoons, evenings and even weekends. You can volunteer from your home, office, dorm room, etc. You can communicate with our students and parents online via our unique platform with just your computer, tablet, phone and an internet connection.
If you're in the ATL area and want to get out of your house, we can use your support at our Decatur academic cluster site.
Attend our AYA Volunteer open house to learn more. See below.
afiya pic from FB
Please Afiya Madzimoyo @ or
call: 404.832.9958
You can also attend our Volunteer Open House this Sunday. Aug. 21st 7pm Eastern
Conference phone number: 404.890.5053 (no pin needed)
Please pass this notice on to other people and organizations who can help us.
*"My Family Lore" (Gathering, reflecting, analyzing written and oral family literature)
*Writing with Power (High school students write, present and defend papers to the Black community around the country)
*Africa Codes (Computer programming support)
*Material Science (Khemistry support)
*Sankofa Math (Going back to fetch... what they've missed)
*Form Follows Function (Afrikan Architecture)
*AYA Student News Paper
*Araminta WHB Storytellin' Youth Corp
Wekesa in chitown abpsi
Thank you for considering volunteering with AYA. Want to know more, please attend our
Volunteer Open House this Sunday. Aug. 21st 7pm Eastern
Conference phone number: 404.890.5053 (no pin needed)
Our programs extend way beyond our students. We've created AYA as a safe place to create teaching approaches and courses that will lift our youth and our people. We refine them, and share them broadly.
Please see how you can help us, and also pass this notice on to other people and organizations who can help us.
Let the Circle Be Unbroken.
Wekesa O. Madzimoyo

Monday, August 1, 2016

I have the hardest time getting people to understand AYA!

I have the hardest time getting people to understand AYA - the school. They think our school is like Connect or Khan Academy. NOT! Check out this short excerpt as AYA students from 5 states debate Black History Celebration or Not! This is a regular language arts debate class, not a special event. All of our instruction is live - live qualified instructors. Live students from across the country and across town. Plus every nine weeks, all students must demonstrate to the community what they are learning in school via local face-2-face presentations. The must show what they know, not what grade the earned. They must take the criticism and the praises. We are preparing students to serve and lift our community, instead of joining others to exploit our community.

If you can't see the one above, try this YouTube version:

In this video - big ups to Allie from NY, Sol from Cincinnati,Tiye from Tuskegee, Yemazen from Dayton, and Farasha from Atlanta Metro. Got a middle of high school student that you want to get an education of excellence and service to our community first?
Regardless of what state you are in, we can help. You know people in your network who are looking for an alternative to the failing systems to which we subject our children and families. Check us out or contact Afiya Madzimoyo ( or @ 404.532.5588

Please pass it on.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Authenticity > Authorship > Authority

Want to take charge of your life? Throw out the ghostwriter. Here's an AYA  maxim: Authenticity > Authorship > Authority.  When we are emotionally authentic, we are writing, creating the story of our lives and relationships. When we write/create the story, then we become the authorities in and over our lives.

On the other hand, when we are emotionally inauthentic, (numb to what we are feeling - all of what we're feeling, or when we're not true to what we're feeling) the story of our lives and relationships (intimate, familial, organizational, or business) is being written and directed by the ghostwriter - the person or group that has written, and implanted the "script" for our inauthenticity. 

  • Who's writing your story, pullin' your relationship strings. 
  • Why, when closest to success, does our communication turn to conflict, and trust erodes or explodes?

It's the ghostwriter.

You've heard it before - "change your communication; change your life!"  You try.

Still the same patterns return. It's the ghostwriter hiding, secretly influencing, shading, directing, controlling. 

We look under our words - maybe we change them. Not there. Hmm... We examine our non-verbals, maybe we change some of them too. Not there.

The root of both our verbal and non verbal expression are our emotions. Ahh... see there. You have to look closely-very closely because the ghostwriter hides there - pretending, substituting, morphing, amplifying, confounding, falsifying the messages our emotions send. 

He hides in the very place where he told you not to look, a place he told you to suppress. 

There in your well of emotions, undetected, the ghostwriter rules and predictably orchestrates our words and actions against our best interest.    

You've heard the expression: 

"I was so mad that I could cry!" Typically, it's a woman's voice saying those words. It's the ghostwriter directing. Nothing in a woman's DNA causes her to have a "crying" emotional response to "anger." It's the ghostwriter.

And just why does a "hurt" brother hurt others" when you'd think that being "hurt" would increase his sensitivity?" It's the ghostwriter.

And just why is it that we "feel" better when we shop at some expensive White establishment, and As Amos N. Wilson noted "feel" cheated each time we shop with a Black person?" It's the ghostwriter. Of course, you could blame yourself, but that's another alien script. We'll get to that one later. One at a time, please! 

Oppression - the ghost writer - is the work of generations-old psychic, social and physical brutality that has scripted our learned emotional responses. It's also new. In our new found "freedom" to copy Europeans and embrace their way, we openly invite inauthenticity as the standard. It is their standard. So when we measure our success on how much of their standard we've achieved (actually, devolved to), we embrace the ghostwriter. The result from the old or the new practice is the same. We are often not authentic with ourselves or each other- even when we tryin' to be. 

"Keepin' it 100,” “Keep it real” reveals our value and quest for authenticity. Sadly, these sayings have also become an excuse for abuse - playing the wrong chords, only painting with the boldest colors, the loudest notes, ignoring the black notes on the piano and the others emotional tones that give meaning and context to the communication.

Falsified Emotions:

Being emotionally authentic is not just a simply a moral choice, not just a character thing. Our emotional responses have been falsified, scripted by oppression to they serve the oppressor's bidding by inducing intra-psychic and interpersonal conflict between us. 

With Love:

Sometimes the deadly ghostwriter entered by hitching a ride on my father's love, or my mother's milk, or other act of love from my family or community. This makes is harder to find. It takes even more skill to keep the love and while giving dumping the devilish ghostwriter.

A very slick system - is this injected oppression.

No worries, you have some powerful allies. “When the syndrome is around, don’t let you guard down, all you got to do is to call on the funk.” Some missed it, we didn’t! And we’ll make sure you don’t either. The syndrome is the ghostwriter - oppression. The “funk” is your culture. Don’t just play it, let it guide your actions. “Sir nosed devoid of funk” doesn’t stand a chance.

Don’t worry, we make it plain. Getting rid of the ghostwriter by practicing emotional authenticity is a key skill we introduce in our Taste of  Warriors -Healers-Builders” workshops and full WHB retreats. This summer we've changed it recently to include what we've learned from the artists.

Circle of Culture:

Our cultural creations can lead us through. The “Circle of Culture” has been a healing, building and conduit for resistance since before the ghostwriters were ghost. Before their brutality was injected in our psyches. When the whip was their pen and our blood was their ink. 

Even then, especially then - our memory, our music, our languages and dialect, our singing, dancing and art were doors to the safe haven of authenticity - to our reality; not that imposed by the barbarians who most wanted our spirit. 

Our artist knew and still know that...

Emotion has tone.
Emotion has intensity.
Emotion has duration.
Emotion has volume.
Emotion has color. 
Emotion has shades. 

At some level we all know it. In our hands this emotional proficiency is powerfully healing and communicative. In the ghostwriter's hands they are deadly. Even artist, when not performing, too often betray their gift and surrender to the ghostwriter in organizational and relationship communication.

Any wonder we can't build or sustain our unions. Trying to communicate with with the ghostwriter holding the Cue-cards guarantees inauthentic communication and dooms trust-building internally and externally. 

Maybe we should sing our responses to each other.  

Stevie Wonder asks:

If it's special
Then with it why aren't we as careful
As making sure we dress in style
Posing pictures with a smile
Keeping danger from a child"

Trust. We all know that it's special. It’s the key to every success. Give the ghostwriter the boot, nurture emotional authenticity and trust. 

Trust. Earn it; you can’t demand it. 
Trust. Restore it; it will be one of the greatest accomplishments of your life.
Trust. Grow it even in the hostile oppressive environment that induces distrust in ourselves and each other. Nirvana! 

James Ingram’s "Just Once" said it best: "I know we can through it, if we can just get to it."

Come, using the Circle of Culture, we'll help you find the ghostwriter, and get him out of the way, so we can get to it, so you can take charge of your life, so you can author your relationships in your life, so that you become the authority in your own life’s story!   

Have a taste - A Taste of WHB. That’s followed by brothers only and sisters only sessions this summer on WHB Super Saturdays in Cincinnati, DC, ATL, Chicago. 

PS: There's another kind of inauthenticity that we get to as well. It's the "alien" River of Touches. We use Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Mausiki Scales​, Gregory Porter, and Marvin Sapp to help get to that and through that!


Here's some music: 
James Ingram:

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Cincinnati's Araminta + Warriors-Healers-Builder Juneteenth Celebration

Some are elated, some irritated, some outright insulted about the announced Tubman/Jackson $20. Regardless of your position, we have an obligation to control the narrative. The power is in the story! Will her image evoke our commitment to collective freedom? Will it inspire us to heal, build & fight against real oppression today, or induce us to bask in the illusion of inclusion? It’s really up to us.

  • Come. Learn.  Join the national movement to tell her story from the inside-out!

  • Did you know her first attempted escape was with her two brothers?
  • Did you even know that she was from a revolutionary family? 
  • What about her 4-staged spiritual development that supported her revolutionary work? We’ll look at her story through the eyes of AYA’s WHB model. We’ll especially lean on the new SIO model. So we learn to tell her story and OurStory from the inside-out, to flip-the script!


Araminta - WHB Storyteller Certification Begining Training 
1Seymore Nature Preserve Amphitheater
Must have attended Friday night’s session!

You are your children's first teacher and learning director.

Others may help, but you are the director. Come, lean about key elements for your children's learning and about the power of Afrikan centered learning approach regardless of the subject and regardless of your children's ages. Learn about the AYA Way and how you can apply it at home, at school, whenever. Also learn about AYA's full time, part-time, and supplemental educational programs.

Of course, teaching isn't just academic. It's also social responsibility, leadership and personal development. Come and be introduced to our WHB personal and leadership development model.

  • African-Centered Education & Home Schooling - The AYA Way

    • Warriors-Healers-Builders (Free Intro)Personal & Leadership Development

    4- Hour Workshop - BN7
    When you want to go past an introduction to actual skill-building, sign up for the Taste of WHB. Not as intensive as a weekend retreat, and enough time for you to actually learn to used some of the tools for fighting oppression, healing our wounds and family wounds, and building trust so that we can build strong families and organizations. We call this tool set the Blacknificent Seven: 3 skills and 4 steps to help you a more effective communicator and relationship builder.

    Why WHB?

    Warriors: We must become better warriors - challenging the People, Policies &Practices  that aggress upon our families, our people and our community
    Healers: Our people have and continue to be wounded by European domination and other forms of oppression that create conflicts which wreck family, personal, and other relationships. We must heal ourselves
    Builders: While we fight and heal, we are also obligated to build. We must build: Families | Organizations |Businesses | Institutions.
    • Warriors-Healers-Builders (4-hr. Workshop) Personal and Leadership Development (Skill-Building)The Lions Den Cultural Center - 7617 Reading Rd., Cincinnati, OH

    • WHB Sisters Only - Afiya Madzimoyo
      Healing and Building for Warriors

  • WHB Brothers Only - Wekesa Madzimoyo
  • Healing and Building for Warriors


    Click to Expand Below:

    Friday, May 6, 2016

    Circle of Culture End of School Concert and Fundraiser

    Circle of Culture Concert

    Help us end the school year with a bang. Help us prepare for next year and provide scholarships to families for our full-day and weekend support African-Centered educational programs. 

    Tickets Here:
    2015-2016 banner w students wekesa afiyaAYA doesn't only support our youth, it supports the community in a number of ways.
    Relationship Counseling
    Healing Oppressions Wounds Retreats
    Uhuru Esusu - Home-Buying Collective
    and more...
    wekesa and afiya by mama ayo  1 Rarely do we ask. We're asking now, not because we're about to close or are over our heads in debt.
    We're asking so we can expand, can grow, can offer more services to more of our community at a time when our community is being squeezed. It's also the time when our community needs us the most.
    But you know we can take without giving. You and the community will have a wonderful time. All the way from Philly, Kala Jojo is a Black Community Treasure. This is the brother that I learned to tell Sundiata from. He's the truf! Through in some powerful AYA students performing, plus a few guests or two and you will want to stay all night! Trust me. We 'gon through down!
    Get your tickets! HERE
    Please support our current co-sponsors. See flyer.

    Event Co-sponsorships needed and welcomed; call us. Call us. If you want to volunteer, call us. If you have questions, call us.

    404.532.9958 -
    404. 201 .2356 -
    Save the date!  Get your tickets! HERE  Sponsor a student or family!
    AYA Educational Institute presents our first annual
    Circle of Culture Concert and Fundraiser.

    Friday, April 22, 2016

    Time To Breathe and Celebrate A Man's Man!

    Time to breathe. Life is a circle. Time to celebrate Chisulu (Cornell Geddie, Jr.) - the man from whose seed I came.
    He's the man who most showed me how to be a man. And while he wouldn't have known to call it this - the man who most showed me how to "be Afrikan" - hold Afrikan values, hold Afrikan visions and make a circle of community.
    I say "most" because I was raised in a community of men - my second Dad - Garrie Wright, my grandfathers, and even great grand fathers, uncles, great uncles, cousins and male family friends so close that they were called "uncles." To all of these men, I'm deeply indebted.
    Shout out to my mom for keeping me in this community of men, even during our time in Brooklyn, NY - 500 miles removed from my father who was in Fayetteville, NC.
    April 20, 1931 is the day he came into this world. His father and mother merged to become him. He and my mother merged to become me. I extend myself into my children - let the circle be unbroken.
    He told me once: "Son, don't let nobody beat you giving." When I was a teenager, I wondered why he gave so much away in his business. He ignored my protest with a "Son, just keep on livin'" kind a look. He abhorred injustice. While he was less vocal about it than my mother, he felt it just as deeply - maybe more.
    There is a hospital scene that comes to mind as I seek to breathe in Chisulu's spirit. It's really an implanted memory - from a story my mother told me over and over about how he helped pull me from the spirit world to this one.
    You see... I was born premature. So much so that my mother says she could hold me from head to toe in the palm of her hand. I weighed less than a pound. It didn't look good. My mother had lost all her children before me. The hospital, on the FT Bragg army base, was more a glorified barracks than a neo-natal center. I was placed in an incubator.
    Depressed at the thought of losing yet another baby, she left the hospital refusing to name me.
    "I'm tired of naming babies and they just die."
    My mother told me that two nurses blurted out names that became my first and middle names. Geddie, like my father, would be my last name. She left the hospital to nurse herself and to hold on to her sanity by fighting off that "something" was wrong with her.
    Meanwhile I clung to life by a thread thinner than a spider's web. She tells me that my Dad Cornell, that I call "Chisulu" came by every day.
    dikenga bw
    Chisulu means man of steel. In our salvage work, he handled the torch, he was the man who handled cutting the steel.
    Every day from Nov. 19th to Dec. 25th. Everyday, he'd talk to me, she said. Everyday he say:
    "C'mon son. I know that you can make it. I just know that you will make it, C'mon..."
    I must have heard him, or more accurately 'felt' him. His was the only family touch I knew for the first month of my life. Everyday I got a little stronger.
    Trying not to get her hopes up only to be dashed for a 4th time, my mother refused to come.
    Chisulu / Cornell refused not to come. Refused to give up hope or to turn loose that slender bio-genetic rope that held me from returning to the spirit world from which I came.
    He didn't know, nor did my mother at the time that in some Afrikan cultures, like Mali, the "men of steel," the blacksmiths were also the mediators between the living and the dead. Chisulu / Cornell was the man of steel, and his prayers, his heart and his love pulled me through.
    Wekesa in chitown abpsi
    On Dec. 25th, my mother and father came and took me home. That was 61 years ago.
    So, now here I sit with tears of joy welling up in my eyes for the man of steel. Though he was a man's man, a big man, a junk man with rough hands, it's not his "hardness" that fills me so. It's his love and the deep river of his emotional/spiritual giving that threatens to wet my keyboard.
    As I say medase (thank you) to my Dad - The Man, please join me by sending a "thank you" deed, a "thank you" touch, thought or pray to the men who have given to you, then pass this on.
    Let's make sure the circle is unbroken.
    Wekesa O. Madzimoyo
    Co-Director, AYA Educational Inst.
    FaceBook Link
    (c) All Rights Reserved.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2016

    Resistance and Healing!

    I Love AYA!

    That was this morning’s focus in this dynamic class - The Economic Conundrum. Was it too deep for Monday morning; too deep for mere high school students? 

    I've written about the course before - AYA High School students are learning about our Circle of Culture and how we used it to heal us. They are studying this in an economics class because they know that we had to have healed ourselves for us to have displayed such economic cooperation and economic nationalism in many places in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries in places like Memphis, Atlanta, Rosewood, and in the better known Black Wall Streets - in Tulsa, OK and the Hayti District in Durham, NC. 

    I decided to include in their search for *HOW* we used our culture to heal - a discussion of role of resistance, rebellion, and revolt (individual, group, and mass action) against White domination as a strategic and effective healing "treatment" for the psychic injuries resulting from the wounding blows of captivity.

    I can't underestimate the importance of this part of our healing treatment. Today, those who would help us heal from our psychic wounds born of old and continued oppression rarely prescribe initiation or participation in resistance, rebellion, or revolt against oppressive people, policies and practices - as primary or even part of their prescribed "healing" treatment. The students had been warned about this "error" by Dr. Amos N. Wilson's discussion of how the Mental Health establishment works hand in hand with European history writing to oppress us. 

    These students weren't going to make that mistake, or were they?
    When I asked students to ponder the healing power of our ancestor's resisting white domination. 

    Here's what they said:

    'We resisted taking on their spiritual ideas and religious systems because those systems reinforced that they (Whites) were superior and we (Africans) were inferior. Resisting their religious ideas and systems, and restoring and even recreating our own beliefs was healing because it rejected the central idea that Europeans and their views were superior to ours, and it kept us connected to our own. 

    Earlier in the course, the student already had established that connecting to our own gave us "purpose, direction," and it even gave spiritual ascension to rebellion and revolt. 

    Both Dr. Sterling Stuckey and my departed friend and teacher that lead me to him - Dr. Sonja Hayes Stone - smiled with me as I heard the students' minds churning.

    Another student added: We resisted using their language and chose to speak in dialect to hold on to pieces of our own culture and to resist the idea that European language, their culture, and therefore White people were superior to us, our language and culture.

    When asked about our actually revolting - which would include using force to overthrow and kill our captors - they said "It would have been healing because it restores a sense of power that we had prior to captivity."

    I just shook my head, and thought, "if this were a college psychology class that might be called restoring a "locus of control." 

    These 9th-11th graders are going in deep!

    I then reminded them of our teachings from Dr. Amos N. Wilson that European history-writing robs us of strategies and tools as well as inspiration and identity.

    So I asked them to contrast how today we often use another strategy to "prove" or "defend" ourselves from European's claim or idea that we are inferior. I asked, "Have you seen us today defend ourselves from the idea that we are inferior by claiming that we're more European than Europeans?"
    A student asked: "What do you mean?" 

    I responded: In other words, as a counter to their claim of our inferiority, we say something like -
    "We can speak their language better than they can!" 
    "We know their culture than they do! 
    "We know and practice their religion and spiritual beliefs better than they do or can!"

    I could tell that this hit home, that some students felt sad about this. Reluctantly, they agreed that they'd seen us use this strategy. 

    They also saw the contrast and agreed that our ancestors didn't use that strategy as a healing one, and that those ancestors would probably have frowned up it. They were clear that our ancestors' healing strategy was to reject the captor's cultural impositions, and to remember, retrieve, preserve and recreate our own in anyway we could - even if fragmented.

    I reiterated: "that's what Dr. Wilson meant when he said when oppressors write and tell your story about yesterday, they manipulate your strategies, possibilities, and your power today and for the future.
    We weren't done. There was one more healing benefit of resistance, rebellion and revolt. 
    But I fear this has been too long a post, and my mother - who could be a bit long-winded herself - is in my head: 

    "Now, Wekesa, don't make 'em happy twice." 
    "Huh, Mama?" 
    "Don't make them happy that you started the story, and happy that you finally, finally got to the end. Son, leave 'em wanting a bit more" 
    "Mom... it's just one more thing!" 
    "I know your "one more thing!"

    Unfortunately, she won't relent. So, to get the last healing benefit that also helped the students really understand what Dr. Wilson was talking about in Falsification of African Consciousness, tune in this Wednesday for another edition of I Love AYA. (If you message me your email, I'll send it directly to you)
    PS... I think I can slip this past Mom's ubiquitous ears. Check out WEB Dubois on the Durham Black Wall Street that many don't know about. That's why the students know THAT we healed ourselves substantially, they're just trying to learn HOW. Please pass this on. 

    Hope is Not a Strategy. 

    Choose AYA.