Friday, February 28, 2020 we celebrated our first “Day of the Child.” Currently, we offer programs geared toward middle and high schoolers (Saturday Leadership Program), college graduates (Young Professionals), and seasoned professionals/retirees (Guild). In an effort to bolster our outreach events to elementary/middle schoolers, last year we hosted two events for students called “Day of the Boy” and “Day of the Girl.” The half-day event included panel discussions, workshops, and other fun activities. Building on that same momentum, we hosted this event but consolidated into one (not separating using a binary gendered approach). Due to the sponsorship of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, we were able to collaborate with some incredible organizations to provide an impactful day for youth!
The group of 30 students arrived from Franklin Square Elementary Middle; about a ten minute drive from our headquarters in Seton Hill, Baltimore City. Students were greeted by our MC, Pastor Larry Mack, and walked into the historic Orchard Street Church on a red carpet. The sanctuary was decorated with balloon arches and columns, and a soundtrack from the Lion King was blasting through the speakers. Our Guild volunteer auxiliary members spoke to the group about the historical significance of the Orchard Street Church and then led the students on a tour through the building.
Next, they rotated through workshops: African Dance, Back to Africa: Naming Ceremony & Jeopardy, and Mindfulness 101. For lunch, owner and chef of a local vegan soul food restaurant, Land of Kush, shared a healthy meal, a cooking demo, and his path as an entrepreneur. We ended the day with a yoga session provided by the Black Male Yoga Initiative, which strives to fund men and women of color to become certified yoga instructors. We were able to send our guests home with t-shirts, backpacks, yoga mats, flutes, and a sense of pride in themselves and their culture. We are honored to have been able to provide this event and hope to continue having them every year!