Revolutionary Skillz 4 Our Youth- a Parent Reflection on the Revolutionary Summer Camp at Homefulness

Tiny - Posted on 05 August 2014

Cori Melious/ PNN Guest Contributor

August 5, 2014

As I listened to the reports back from Gaza as Israel intensified its attack, my heart sank deep into my chest. I immediately thought of the Mamas and Babies/Children that are trapped in Gaza with no way to escape the terror that is the State of Israel. I then thought of my son who was at the Homefulness Revolutionary Youth Camp and felt so much gratitude for conscious programs like this that exist, so that our children can grow up aware with a revolutionary state of mind. The world needs what Homefulness is so graciously and unapologetically offering.

Lisa “Tiny” Garcia, Muteado Silencio, and Needa Bee came together with guest instructors from the Black Riders Liberation Party to create a camp which focused on Revolutionary Skills, aka Life/ Survival Skills, for our Black/Brown Youth. When we think of the skills needed to survive as a Black/Brown person in the world today, it goes beyond the mainstream and becomes very specific to our cultures and experiences. Knowing this all too well, Homefulness Revolutionary Camp brought it!

The camp provided skills in understanding systematic racism, environmental analysis through the perspective of race as well as science (the kids took samples of soil and water and looked at them in microscopes), basic construction, and healthy eating. All throughout the two weeks of camp, the Young Skolas recorded their data and reflections with journals, cameras, and digital recorders. Being a voice in media was a running theme in the Homefulness Camp. The youth were taught that they can and should create their own narrative, the one that they are seeing and experiencing themselves, not the one fed to them by corporate media.

Needa Bee provided healthy lunches that included lessons. The kids helped prepare their food, which included picking greens from the Homefulness garden and learning about the healing properties of the food they were about to eat. I don’t think they got around to it this summer, but Homefulness has in the past taken students to corner stores to gain skills in choosing healthy foods on a budget in your neighborhood.

Tio Muteado led the construction class. Each of the Young Revolutionary Skolas built their own planter box, gaining basic construction skills using power drills, saws, and geometry. Each Skolar then dedicated their box of freshly planted herbs to an ancestor.

Mama Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia brought writing, journaliing and investigative journalism basics  through an investigative journalism study on Environmental Racism as well constant teaching on inter-dependence and eldership including "homework" to love and honor your parents, care-givers and cultures.

Perhaps the most important lesson and skill taught at Homefulness Revolutionary Camp was the prioritized ritual of morning prayer to call in and honor ancestors who guide and protect our People as we navigate this out-of-balance world which seeks to systematically destroy Black and Brown Babies. Homefulness Revolutionary Camp understands the urgency with which our children need to learn these survival skills which are not openly taught in schools or society, but need to be sought out and fought for.

Keeping with the theme of Building Our Future, the Young Skolars got to create scale models of the Homefulness Compound. This included gardens, a healing center, and a main house (all wheelchair accessible, of course!). The details on these models are incredible and really have to be seen to fully appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into them.

The vision of the Young Skolas was presented to us, their parents and community, in an epic presentation of the things they had worked on and learned. It was clear that these Young Skolas had a lot of fun while learning about some very serious topics.

Master screen printer Jesus Barraza donated his talents and was part of the closing ceremony. We made beautiful Homefulness posters which immortalized and captured the spirit of the Youth Skolars Revolutionary Camp Summer of 2014!
Knowing my son was a part of this camp this summer gave me some feeling of hopefulness as Israel continued and increased its siege on Gaza. One thing is for sure, these Young Skolas will make the positive, revolutionary change that is so desperately needed today.

Check out our interactive slideshow summarizing Homefulness Camp, complete with Bob Marley soundtrack!

All the Revolutionary Mama, Uncle, Brother & Auntie Skolaz who brought you the Revolutionary Youth Camp will be launching the Deecolonize Academy - For more information or to enroll email or call (510)435-7500 or (510) 355-7010 - Open House Saturday, August 30th- 1-3p at 8032 Macarthur Bl Deep East Oakland


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