Jul 8/12 - Jul 13/12
KUJICHAGULIA (pronounced koo-gee-cha-goo-LEE-ah) is the second of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. (In Swahili, the word is accented on the second to last syllable.) Kujichagulia means self-determination, and emphasizes the need to describe ourselves, name ourselves, and speak for ourselves instead of it being done by others.
Of the seven principles, this one was seen to be most appropriate. However, it is a principle often avoided and under-used because the word’s length and pronunciation can be intimidating. Many members of the Black community indicated that, of all the Kwanzaa principles, it has one of the most important messages for people of African descent. It was expressed that the use of this principle in the camp’s name would be an excellent opportunity to bring it into more common use.
Kamp Kujichagulia Purpose is to:
• Motivate Black learners to attend university and college through positive exposure to and participation in campus life;
• Expose students to Acadia University’s other summer camp programs;
• Reflect and provide education from an Africentric perspective;
• Stimulate consideration of future employment/career options;
• Demonstrate the possibility of combining sports, technology, culture and academics in their lives;
• Provide opportunities to interact with other Black learners and with Black role models.
The primary purpose of the camp is to motivate Nova Scotian students of African descent to attend university and college through positive exposure to and participation in campus life. In this way, the learners become acquainted with the campuses in a non-threatening, fully supportive atmosphere. This is particularly important for students in rural Nova Scotia, as a university is typically not part of their environment. As a result, universities become a foreign, other realm entity that is not given any thought or is perceived as being out of reach or for “others”. The camp takes place at the same time as Acadia’s outreach summer camps, and thus, the Black learners are also introduced to these programs, and may be encouraged to attend in future summers.
In addition to de-mystifying university/college, the camp would also serve to increase the belief of African Nova Scotian students in their academic skills. The combination of sports, technology, culture, and academics is intended to demonstrate to students that these can be important aspects of their lives that can be well balanced; enjoyment of and expertise in one area does not preclude full involvement in another.
The camp program is also intended to broaden perceptions of the wide array of employment opportunities open for consideration. Participants may see creative career paths in addition to possibilities for where they see themselves in the future.
In addition, the use of instructors and staff of African descent offers members of the Black community an opportunity to sharpen skills of workshop delivery to youth. This, as well as the increase in experience, may in turn open or expand future employment options.
The camp reflects and provides education from an Africentric perspective. This component is virtually absent from the mainstream education system. In addition, the presence of instructors and facilitators of African descent provides much needed role modelling, an area also severely deficient in the present school system. The deleterious effects of the status quo in these areas are well documented in the BLAC Report on Education: Redressing Inequity -- Empowering Black Learners (December 1994). Copies of this three-volume report prepared for the Nova Scotia Minister of Education and Culture by the Black Learners Advisory Committee can be obtained through the BEA or the African Canadian Services Division of the Department of Education.
Participants are students in grades 9, 10, and 11; ages 14 through 18. This is an important period in the school system when many students are faced with course selections that can determine if they meet the criteria for admittance to most post-secondary programs. If students can start to believe that post-secondary study is an option open to them, they may strive to achieve the entrance prerequisites.
There are 30 spaces available for participants. The goal is for a 50/50 gender balance. The staff of six typically reflects this gender balance
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