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The Act of Change Inc.
- Celebrating Ten Years -
By Sistah Dr. Safisha Hill - Contributing Writer
DALLAS- The Act of Change, Inc., Institute of Cultural Arts celebrated their 10th year anniversary with a fund raising banquet Sept. 27.
Since 1998, the non profit grass roots community organization has been following its mission of "helping people to reach their full potential".
Established in the South Oak Cliff community by Esudele Fagbenro as a weekly Rites of Passage Program for boys, the program later expanded to include a program for girls.
The need came for a more stable facility and the institute began renting a space in the Lancaster-Kiest Shopping Center in September 2002.
In recent years, several programs have been implemented to increase knowledge and awareness of history, culture and health issues pertinent to the community.
Act of Change also offers Black Studies 101, Black Men Walking, A Celebration of Blackness, Kwanzaa Celebration, Jegna Lecture Series, Urban Disaster Survival Seminars, The Black Think Tank, and The Sankofa Experience.
In 2004, an independent African centered school was established.
The primary goal of The Act of Change, Inc., Institute of Cultural Arts is to provide a diverse range of cultural education and enrichment programs for the entire community that inspire people to reach their full potential. Through our programs we provide educational, cultural, and health information in an effort to activate awareness of self, of culture and commitment to community.
Fagbenro, who organized the first Black student group at Skyline High School when he was a student there, always had a desire to create something for the community. He felt it was important to have an institute that was not governed by the city or state.
The idea was strengthened after he returned from The Millions Man March.
He contacted other Black men in the community with the suggestion of developing a Rites of Passage for boys, and The Act of Change was born.
The Act of Change works with other grass roots organizations and operates with community volunteers.
Scholars Academy Educational Institution
An independent home school established in the fall of 2004, as a component to The Act of Change, Inc., Scholars Academy is a solid alternative to traditional home schooling as well as an option for parents who have grown displeased with the current state of public schools. Our goal is focused on providing excellence in education, promoting cultural arts, and preparing for nation building.
Infusing the principle that The Act of Change, Inc. was founded on, Scholars Academy offers a curriculum that includes cultural stimulation and enrichment along with the core curriculum. Basic subjects include language arts (reading, writing,), math, science, and social studies. Students also benefit from learning African history and culture, Yoruba language, Spanish, yoga, dance, drumming, and martial arts. Additionally students enjoy courses in cultural art expressions and life skills. A truly community-based endeavor, youth, elders and others in the community are invited to engage in activities with the students.
Future plans include securing a free standing building and adding a research component. More information is available about the Institute at www.theactofchange.ning.com . For details about other programs, call 214 372-3500 between the hours of 10 am and 7 pm during regular week days.