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Rites of Passage Ceremony

Sunday, May 6, 2018
from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Sheryl Williams Stapleton African American Performing Arts Center at NM Expo

Note: The date has been corrected to Sunday, May 6

The Black Student Union Rites of Passage Ceremony is an annual event for all graduating seniors who are active in the BSU and meet specific criteria.

The annual ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 6, at the Sheryl Williams Stapleton African American Performing Arts Center at NM Expo (map).

The ceremony celebrates graduating seniors and encourages them to continue their quest for higher education and to appreciate their own self-worth.

A rite of passage, which marks a time when a person reaches a new and significant change in his/her life, is something that nearly all societies recognize and often hold ceremonies for. These ceremonies are held to observe a person’s entry into a new stage of life.

The five major African initiation rites, which are fundamental to human growth and development, are birth, adulthood, marriage, eldership and ancestorship. Each different culture or society may choose to mark these rites in very different ways. Each ceremony is unique and meaningful in one’s own culture

The APS Black Student Union celebrates their graduates’ journey toward their new stage in life – adulthood. As they journey, they will take with them the value systems relative to maintaining an exemplary lifestyle; awareness of the significance and the importance of being a responsible person in today’s global society, self-awareness, and a positive conscious behavior towards family and community.

There are between dozens of graduating seniors from across the district in good standing who have met the graduating guidelines of the Black Student Union. If the graduating senior has met the Black Student Union’s specific guidelines they may participate in the Rites of Passage Ceremony and receive a Kente Cloth.

Guidelines for Kente Cloths:

  • Senior in good standing
  • Attended 75% of all meetings
  • Participated in 85% of all activities
  • 2.5 or above grade point average
  • Must have participated in the BSU for 2 consecutive years (3rd & 4th )
  • Must have a valid reason for missing the “Rites of Passage Ceremony”

The word “Kente” means “that which will not tear under any condition.” The cloth is a form of non-verbal communication that expresses pride and identity. The symbols on the Kente Cloth come from the “Ashanti Tribe,” linking to roots and expression of pride in their heritage. They are worn during important events of festive and academic achievements and are never mass produced.

The symbol we use on the Kente Cloth in Swahili means knowledge, lifelong education and continued quest for knowledge. “nea onnim no sua a, ohu.”

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