September 24, 2018

5. Marilyn Hays and Sandy Holman

Sandy_Holman_and_Marilyn_Hays-1mb.jpegMarilyn is a long-time community organizer and activist in northern California. She is the founder and director of WE People, a community-based organization designed to serve the needs of African American children and families.

Sandy is the founder of the Culture C.O.-O.P., an organization she developed to assist people and organizations working with equity and diversity in education, businesses and the community.

The two have known each other for close to three decades. They identify as “Sankofa sisters.” Sankofa is a word in the Twi language of Ghana that translates to "Go back and get it.“ The Sankofa bird has been adopted as a symbol in the African Diaspora to represent the need to reflect on the past to build a successful future.

Sandy honors Marilyn as an elder from whom she’s learned a lot over the years. They discuss the importance of cultural identity, the failure of the educational system to teach African American youth their history, learning from the experience of elders and their concerns about the future of social justice in the U.S.

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