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Cleveland, OH (BlackNews.com) — The National Rites of Passage Institute (NROPI) is proud to announce that Ms. Shirley Jaco, mother of Grammy Award winning hip-hop artist and philanthropist Lupe Fiasco, will be a featured speaker at its 2013 Youth & Community Building Conference, which will take place at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture in Baltimore, Maryland July 19-21, 2013. Ms. Jaco, who will speak on the topic of “Raising Lupe Fiasco: Successful Parenting Strategies for Nurturing the Genius of Our Youth,” will share her parenting experience of raising her children, including Lupe Fiasco, in the heart of Chicago. She and Ayesha Jaco, Director of the Lupe Fiasco Foundation, will also share their work with youth in Chicago through the foundation.

“We are so excited to have Ms. Jaco to join us in Baltimore as she and Lupe embody their foundation’s guiding values of youth empowerment, increasing global awareness of young adults and providing a creative space for artistic expression; which is what this conference is all about,” states Paul Hill, Jr., NROPI Founder and President.

Along with Ms. Jaco and Mr. Hill, the conference will also feature other noted scholars, practitioners and youth who will serve as speakers for the sessions and breakouts during this 3 day non-traditional and intergenerational conference. Some of these speakers and topics include: Opening Keynote Speaker, Dr. Lance Williams, Northeastern Illinois University, Center for Inner City Studies ; Moderator for Elderhood Panel, Nadia C. Brigham, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Youth Kwanzaa Collective – by Youth for Youth, Ebony Evans, Youth Resiliency Institute; Introducing Rites of Passage to Faith Based/Spiritual Communities, Rev Nolan Shaw, PhD; Demystifying Evaluation: Proving Program and Organizational for Impact, Dr. Rod Watts; How to Incorporate Rites of Passage into your youth development program?, Paul Hill Jr. & Pamela Hubbard, Golden Ciphers; The National African American Folk Dance – The Grand March, Frank R. Ross, best-selling author of “Soul Dancing, the Essential African American Cultural Dance” Book-adopted by New York City Schools; Adding Arts To Your ROP Program, Melissa Michaels and Friends, Golden Bridge; Call To Action Keynote Speaker, David Miller, Urban Leadership Institute.

Other highlights of the conference include Antoinette Mensah leading the Scholarly Presentation of Papers, which will be published in a special Rites of Passage issue of Black Child Journal, and a Digital Storytelling Showcase where two youth, Maisha Abbott of Waianae, Hawaii and Derek Williams of Oakland California, will share their journeys, their community work and the story behind their digital stories in answering the questions; who am I, where did I come from, and why am I here? The Youth & Community Building Conference, which is themed “Exploring Our Passage to Purpose”, will bring together over 200 youth participants, adult youth advocates, and the foremost experts and scholars on rites of passage in North America. The Conference is made possible because of the generous support of the following sponsors; W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Open Society Foundation: Campaign for Black Male Achievement, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and numerous individuals who provided in-kind and volunteer efforts. To REGISTER NOW and see the full list of speakers and conference schedule, go to www.nropi.org.

About National Rites of Passage Institute
NROPI focuses on youth and community development and regeneration, through programmatic integration of culturally specific practices and nature based experiential processes. Established in 1993, NROPI has trained over 1,000 individuals globally, who have impacted over 10,000 youth from 20 cities, the District of Columbia, and Canada. To learn more about the National Rites of Passage Institute, visit www.ritesofpassage.org.

 

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