Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sankofa Project Archives First Ever Visiting Scholar

L to R Wendy Pantoja, seminarian at Meadville Lombard Theological School (MLTS) Rev. Shuma Chavarty, Sankofa visiting scholar and Rev. Dr. Qiyamah A. Rahman

Rev. Shuma at office of Sankofa

Rev. Shuma in front of 1st Unitarian Church in Chicago, IL where she preached

Shuma at her Brown Bag Lecture held at MLTS

L to R Rev. Nan Hobart, MLTS Chaplain and Rev. Shuma at Brown Bag Lecture

The Sankofa Project Archives, established in 2006, is a repository for documents, biographical information, sermons and photographic images of Unitarian Universalist Ministers and Laity of Color. The Sankofa Archives are both a physical archive and an on-line educational resource serving people at varying educational and research levels ( It celebrates the lives, ministries and accomplishments of Unitarian Universalists: focusing on people who are multi ethnic/multicultural, African, African-American, Arab and Middle Eastern, Asian, Caribbean, Hispanic-Latino/a, and Native-American descent. In doing so the Sankofa Project Archives helps to uncover the contributions and lives of its ministers and laity of color, thus strengthening the family of Unitarian Universalism.

It has been a privilege for me to work with the Sankofa Project Archives since moving to Chicago. Recently, Sankofa was able to bring its first Visiting Scholar, Reverend Shuma Chakravarty. While in Chicago she completed her biographical information that will be posted on Sankofa's website, served as guest minister at the First Unitarian Society of Chicago and delivered a brown bag lecture at Meadville Lombard Theological School. Shuma, author of three books, lectured on four spiritual giants and connected their prophetic voices and lives in a powerful lecture without benefit of one single note. These giants included: Mohatma Ghandi, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama.

Her presence in Chicago is just the kind of endeavor that Sankofa hopes to continue in the future.

Sankofa Project Archives provides three types of support:

•solicits and documents the scholarship and contributions of Unitarian Universalists (UUs) ministers and laity of color

•builds bridges between Unitarian Universalists by familiarizing UUs with the

•promotes presence and visibility of ministers, seminarians and laity of color

•promotes the small but growing number of Unitarian Universalist ministers (less than 50 ministers of color out of a total of 1,700 Unitarian Universalist ministers are ministers of color)

Our work helps to strengthen and support the documentation of the contributions of Unitarian Univeralist Ministers and Laity of Color in our larger movement of Unitarian Univeralism. Hence, encouraging the recruitment and presence of UUs of color to the ministry.

For more information, please contact: Reverend Doctor Michelle Bentley, Director, Sankofa Project Archives, 5700 S. Woodlawn Ave. Chicago, IL 60637 773 643 6988

Contributions can be sent to: Sankofa Project Archives
5700 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637

Blessed Be!

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