October 10 – October 13, 2023
Atlanta, Tuskegee, Montgomery, Selma, Sumner, Memphis
Sankofa: To return; to go; to fetch, seek, and take.
From the Akan people of Ghana, Sankofa is the practice of looking back to move forward. Engaging the past is a necessary part of pursuing genuine reconciliation. If we don’t understand our history and how it impacts where we are today, we won’t know how to move forward.
For any true transformation to take place, you must first know the story…Once you know the story, you can humbly own the story.
– Josh Clemons & Hazen Stevens*
Sankofa 2023 is an intentionally multi-ethnic, experiential, and spiritual journey – a pilgrimage. As we travel across the Southeastern United States, we will engage our history by visiting sites important to the Civil Rights movement, along with exploring the history of slavery and legalized segregation in the U.S.
We invite you to join this journey as a humble learner with the posture of a pupil. Sankofa offers us the opportunity to acknowledge and lament foundations of our racially broken and divided present. Only then can we begin to repent, reorient, and pursue authentic reconciliation with God and each other. If we believe God’s kingdom come and will be done on earth as in heaven, then we have laid down our right to be indifferent.*
Previous Sankofa trips have focused primarily on one-on-one conversations with a travel partner. This trip expands the learning model to include personal reflection, along with small- and large-group conversations led by our trip leaders. Due to this model, participants are not required to bring a travel partner.
This year’s Sankofa journey is co-led once again by Carl Nelson, President of Transform Minnesota and Nina Barnes. Nina is the Vice President for Student Life and Human Resources at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul. She is a board member for Transform Minnesota and a previous Sankofa participant and leader. As a Black woman and respected leader in the Twin Cities, Nina will weave in personal story and experiences as she leads this journey. She is an educator and a student of history; her passion is to help us see how history is directly tied to our current reality in society and the Church. As a spiritual director, she is uniquely gifted in facilitating conversations and learning experiences like Sankofa. During our four days together, we will gain a wealth of knowledge and perspective.
* From Know. Own. Change. by Josh Clemons and Hazen Stevens