YEWAS is a Rites of Passage program for girls ages 7‐18. It is based on African cultural practices of family and community marking young people’s entry into adulthood by providing them with the skills, knowledge, and experiences they need to be successful, responsible, and independent adults. In addition to mentorship from elders and building positive relationships with peers, the emphasis of the program is cultural awareness and pride, self-development, building self-esteem, wellness practices, artistic and creative expression, developing spirituality, academic success, financial wellness/ entrepreneurship, and empowering girls and teens with other tools to achieve a strong sense of self and wise decision‐making skills.
The first cohort of YEWAS was established in 2006 in Oakland and Sacramento in collaboration with Rolanda Allaha Wilkins founder of Sacramento-based Earth Mama Healing, Inc. Under the guidance of elders some of who were former( SOT )mothers, Founders of Pan African learning Institutions, Cultural Arts Educators, and Community Leaders, Mama Upesi Mtambuzi, Yaa Titilayo Makini, Mama Shukuru Saunders, Sister Linda Johnson, Mama Ikenna Ubaka, Iya Jumoke Blue and Regina Calloway Since 2006 Sacred Grove has consistently hosted YEWAS, a free year-round program in Oakland.
In 2019 Asatu, the Director of YEWAS, and Ayodele Kinchen, Founding SOT and Director of the Sisters of Tomorrow Bay Area Chapter began working together as sister rite of passage program in conjunction with shared participants, parents, activities, and goals. We are blessed to have access to the wise counsel of the SOT Founding Queen Mothers Mama Nobantu Ankoanda and Mama Ikenna Ubaka and others who are still very involved in our ROP.
**YEWAS and SOT are fiscally sponsored programs of ASE' INSTITUTE BAY AREA
Adolescence is a difficult time for everyone. Black and brown girls struggle with self-identify insecurities, social and peer pressures, and often feel isolated with their feelings and emotions because they are unique and they have not found unconditional support acceptance amongst their peers. YEWAS together with our Sister Rite of Passage Program SOT offers a culturally sensitive environment for sisterhood, knowledge of self & mentorship to happen naturally.
YEWAS & SOT meets the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month from 12 pm-3 pm.