Because we have forgotten our ancestor, our children no longer give us honor. Because we have lost the path our ancestors cleared knelling in perilous undergrowth, our children cannot find their way. Because we have banished the God of our ancestors, children cannot pray. Because we have abandoned our wisdom of mothering and fathering, our befuddled children give birth to children they neither want nor understand. Because we have forgotten how to love, the adversary is within our gates, and holds up to the mirror of the world, shouting, “Regard the loveless. Therefore, we pledge to bind ourselves to one another To embrace our lowliest, To educate our illiterate, To feed our starving, To clothe our ragged, To do all good things, knowing that we are more than keepers of our brothers and sisters. We are our brothers and sisters. In honor of those who toiled and implored God with golden tongues, and in gratitude to do the same God who brought us out of hopeless desolation. We make this pledge. Dr. Maya Angelou Written Expressly for the National Council of Negro Women Black Family Reunion Celebration on May 14, 1986. The Albion Black Family Reunion is a celebration of the mind, body, spirit, and soul of Albion’s African-American community. Its purpose is to remember, embrace, and restore the pride of families past and present, who have made notable contributions to the Albion African-American Community. With the focus being youth, family, and community development, the Albion Black Family Reunion has brought many of its native sons and daughters back to help instill the pride of the Albion African-American community. Past keynote speakers have included former Albionite, Robert Holland, Jr. (former CEO of Ben & Jerry’s Inc.), Dr. Daniel Boggan, (Chief Operations Officer, NCAA), Charles Jones (Albion's First Black Mayor), and Winifred Brewer (Deputy Trial Counselor, The State Bar of California). Event Highlights *Salute To The Black Family Conference* Salute To The Black Family Conference is a forum for community leaders and citizens to discuss critical issues facing Albion’s African- American Community. Health, education, economic development, substance abuse, political actions are some of topics discussed. The focus is to develop solutions for the future. *Family Day Festival* The Family Day Festival is a day for families and friends to reunite and remember the good old days.The event is held at the historic Holland Park, named after Robert Holland, Sr., a local politician and community activist. Holland Park is also the site of the former Westward School, Albion ’s first all black school. The entertainment consist of music, basketball, games for kids. Health screenings are provided along with vendors selling food, clothing, jewelry, and artifact. *”The Salute To Excellence” Celebration* “The Salute to Excellence” Governing Board Dinner recognizes outstanding youth and adults who are achieving in academics, athletics, leadership, and community service. What is the BLACK FAMILY REUNION? The legacies that parents, members of the church, and teachers leave to Black children is crucial to their development and survival in modern day America and the world. For too many children, supportive communities and supportive families represent images that they cannot comprehend because they have never been part of their ethnic group. The Black Family Reunion Celebration (BFRC) was established by Dr. Dorothy I. Height, president of the National Council of Negro Women, as an effort to respond to the crisis facing our communities. This event honors Black heritage and culture, and sets the stage for the traditional transfer of knowledge and the revitalization of the Black Community Spirit. Through issue forums, information, and entertainment workshops, the BFRC “aims to unify the community for constructive action in the fact of national concerns imaging the Black Family in education, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, health care and employability. Community Response The Albion Black Family Reunion It is really exciting to see what’s happening in terms of the work that is being done to advance the cause of African-Americans in Albion. It’s even more important because it is being done in the context of getting the community more involved. Dr. Daniel Boggan NCAA Chief Operations Officer Reunion Co-Founder and Visionary Leader The meaning behind the Black Family Reunion is to celebrate the achievements of the Albion African-American Community and to establish rituals and activities to celebrate Albion’s Black Family” Harry J. Bonner, Sr., Executive Director Minority Program Services This event is great because if gives us young people an opportunity to learn more about the rich history of the Albion African-American community” Kendra Brown, Youth Leader Minority Program Services The Albion Black Family Reunion allowed me to learn more about my African-American culture and helps me to reconnect all generations” Greg Brown Youth Leader Minority Program Services