By Vanity Delbridge, SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Syracuse’s South Side Community Coalition will host its 2nd Sankofa Festival this Saturday at noon.
Sankofa, which means to “go back and get it,” in Akan, the indigenous language of Ghana, is a way to empower the community and revitalize the neighborhood.
The festival helps bring light to the community, and shows a different narrative from a district that struggles with gun violence.
According to Syracuse.com, the city had its most deadly year for homicides in 2018, which killed young people in more than 25 years.
The murders, included ten people, 19 years of age or younger, and six who were 16-years-old or younger.
Tanaya Thomas, Board President of Café Cooperative, knows the impact people can have when they work together.
“Just to have something in our community, that caters to our community, you know,” says Thomas. “And to different generations, bringing generations together was important.”
Café Sankofa, works to keep the community engaged, by promoting health, wellness, cultural engagement and social action.
Through membership fees and active participation, the Café Cooperative can continue to meet the need of the South Side community, and remain in the district.
There are different memberships offered, and all members receive a 10 percent discount on all café purchases, a free yoga class per month, the eligibility to run for Board of Directors, the eligibility to participate in committees and attend regular board meetings, and investor dividends.
Thomas is hopeful for change.
“I think seeing something different, being exposed to something different, can be a deterrent to what has been going on.”
The festivities will kick off with a parade at Sankofa Park on South Salina Street.