threads of our fabric

Reflections on navigating between two cultures and understanding the self-awareness process

Courtney’s House April 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sharon Asonganyi @ 10:21 pm
Tags: , , ,

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post about human trafficking triggered by series of busts very near to home. It was different from my usual posts on acculturation, however, it is an issue that affects young children irrespective of race/ethnicity. Human trafficking is a business and domestically it is increasing which places boys and girls in danger if we do not talk to them rather than shield them. I had the honor of sitting in on an informational presentation session by Tina Frundt, founder and director of Courtney’s House. Her talk introduced me to another shocking reality about the underworld of human trafficking. Young girls who are tricked into leaving home and held captive as sex slaves. Tina’s approach is very much outside of the box. Everything is designed with the victims in mind from having an all female staff to unusual work hours typically when most of us are in REM sleep. Some of the facts she presented were shocking:

  • As many as 2.8 million children live on the streets. One out of every three will be lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home
  • The average age of entry into prostitution for a child victim in the United States is 12-14 years old
  • Pimp-controlled juvenile prostitution is closely associated with: escort and massage services, private dancing, drinking and photographic clubs, major sporting and recreational events, major cultural events, conventions, and selected tourist destinations.

Courtney’s House is doing a phenomenal job addressing this issue in a sensitive and appropriate manner. Please consider supporting this organization who are giving the invisible children hope and a future.

 

What have we been up to recently? March 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sharon Asonganyi @ 11:12 pm
Tags: ,

Well I’m glad you asked that question…We have been busy bees connecting with communities serving African immigrants to share our video stories and learn how they engage these young women in their communities. Here is one exciting example of how Threads of Our Fabric Project is sparking amazing conversations on college campuses:

Time: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Location: Cartoon Room of the Ohio Union

As part of the Threads of Our Fabric Project, the Multicultural Center, Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Society of Sisters proudly present “A Gathering at Lethee’Ma – Kitchen Fireplace.”

This interactive video, based on a conversation facilitated by Sharon Asonganyi, founder and director of the Threads of Our Fabric Project, features an organization whose mission is to engage and empower young, first and second generation African women through multimedia in their new communities. The evening’s dialogue will center on the sociocultural adjustment issues that are unique for this distinct group of African women. Intimate video stories of joys, trial and successes will be used to illustrate shared experiences and the sociocultural influences on an emerging population developing a new perspective in the fabric of American society. Welcome to Lethee’Ma!!!

Reception and Meet and Greet at 6:00pm; Event begins at 7:00pm-9:00pm.

This event is part of United Black World Month 2012. For more information about United Black World Month, please contact Katherine Betts at bett.128@osu.edu or 614-688-8449. Or, visit the Multicultural Center website at http://www.mcc.osu.edu

For more information about the project: http://www.threadsofourfabric.wordpress.com

Katherine Betts
Multicultural Center
betts.128@osu.edu
614-688-8449

 

End Human Trafficking January 31, 2012

It is amazing to look back at previous posts. It is almost a year since my post on Human Trafficking (Click Here) and the issue is still as critical today. Here is an interesting fundraiser in the DC-MD-VA area coming up February 8th 2012.

 

Women and girls are often targeted and dis-empowered over the course of the trafficking system globally. Human trafficking is a complex issue fueled by various socioeconomic and cultural factors. The American Psychological Association produced a great report that examines the intersect of psychology and human trafficking as it affects women and girls (report). Stay educated and keep your eyes open…it can happen in your neighborhood or a few blocks from you. Not too long ago I read about a sting operation that busted a trafficking ring in Rockville, MD (NewsFlash). I am glad with the outcome but wish people had acted sooner on their suspicions. In such situations, I believe in being cautious rather than sorry.

 

Values and ideals: I am… December 5, 2011

Can one really complete this sentence?…I feel that it’s one of the sweet puzzling mysteries of life. To be honest, who I am is quite fluid and dynamic. It seems like every new life stage often brings new transitions and definitions of who I am. I remember when I graduated college, oh wow…I was such an optimistic then, believing that anything is possible, life had finally just begun! My personality then or the “Who I am…” reflected this train of thought, extremely bubbly, lively, and fun. One thing was unquestionably sure I was still naïve with navigating the new challenges of this transition period. Especially having to work and attend graduate school full time, while trying to somehow have a social life. Such is life, you live and learn but having an internal compass of values and identity definitely helps with orienting one towards making right the choices in life.

This week’s discussion topic on our Facebook page – African Girl Development in the U.S. (hyperlink) – was:

How do you think our African values can be used as a means of nurturing and prodding one another towards fulfilling our dreams/passions?…What are your thoughts?

As usual, the reflections were thought-full and thought-provoking. I do enjoy reading particularly from our African brothers. You cannot have complete and informative gender development conversations without having both sides represented at the discussion table. Overall the main themes that emerged throughout this past week included:

  • Culture equips an individual with the values that enables s/he to function and contribute in society
  • Identity or self-knowledge is crucial to succeed in unfamiliar surroundings
  • Values such as respect, hardwork, and determination will always transcend cultural boundaries and enable one to thrive in new environments

My take on this week’s topic is that when we (African sisters) recognize and encourage the strengths and positive traits in each other, that simple act can be a strong boost towards success. We can truly be our sister’s keeper because we share commonalities of a cultural heritage with very strong long-established traditions, beliefs, and values. When we choose to see the beautiful qualities that make each African sister unique, I believe therein lies the secret of complete Self acceptance. Additionally, I feel it is for our best interest to embrace our unique cultural values because when we reject them, we reject a fundamental part of who we are.

When I am fully me and you are fully you, together WE ARE…

Mirrored reflections of perfection, for I recognize that I cannot be unless YOU ARE…

Completely consumed and present in being, So therefore I AM…

Oh what a vision, unstoppable, strong, but above all full of potential being realized.

 

 

ThreadsofOurFabricProject December 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sharon Asonganyi @ 4:45 pm

ThreadsofOurFabricProject

 

Can we be sisters? November 25, 2011

For the past week I have watched Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” about 7 times. I enjoy the intricate artistic portrayals of diverse unique Black women’s lives. Each character has a powerfully delicate story with a mysterious depth that unveils and sometimes unravels as the movie progresses. I really should be singing praises to the eloquent prose of Ntozake Shange in her play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.”

Perhaps the reason I push play so frequently on the DVD player is because I can relate to certain situations or different character’s reactions to some incredible life experiences. Or maybe it is the soulful lyrical words of the different soliloquies. Or simplyjust  enamored by the expressive beautiful movement in choreography. However, above all I love the beautiful closure of the movie in the “laying on of hands”…It sealed the bonds of a newly formed sisterhood between the Black women. I remember soon after this movie was released, there was alot of discussion on how Black women need healthy positive relationships with each other.

This past week on our Facebook page African Girl Development in the U.S., the Threads of Our Fabric Project team started a discussion topic on Sisterhood…

The gift of sisterhood certainly makes life’s journey worthwhile! They say women are their own worst enemies; some call it “a woman’s issue”… backstabbing, competitiveness, envy, and jealousy…. What are your views on that?…”

 

The responses were fascinating! Some included:

  •  “I feel women that do try to one up each other also have insecurities within themselves that are manifesting as competition.  Where those insecurities arise? Probably, upbringing and social situations that they’ve experienced.”
  • The high pressure on women to present themselves or mold themselves into what is agreeable  in their culture or society. When these expectations go against who they truly are there is a tipping and oftentimes explosive point.
  • “The competition amongst women/ young ladies nowadays is usually channelled towards the wrong direction like who’ s won what, who’s boyfriend is cuter, or who owns what?”
  • Education is crucial  “because someone with a good education has better social, critical thinking and problem solving skills than someone who is not well educated. Education enhances thought processes and gears them toward more peaceful interactions with others and better choices in life.

Maybe it takes one person believing in the possibility of healthy, strong, and positive sister relationships for a connection to occur. Like Shange’s Tangie and Nyla, most of us sisters can begin healing our current relationships by just being there for one another. Simply making ourselves available and supportive, not threatened by the infinite beauty in the presence of another sister, but celebrating our unique strengths, talents, and possibilities. Instead of looking at what separates us, let us extend loving hands with a promise to cherish, applaud, and hold one another.

Photo credit: Trendy Africa

We enjoyed hearing the insightful voices on Facebook and you are invited to comment on the page or on this blog. Stay tuned for more thought provoking dialogue!
 

Evolve October 10, 2011

Filed under: Inspiration,Reflections — Sharon Asonganyi @ 10:55 pm

I slayed you,

not by machete, or using tools of military warfare,

nor as a brazen warrior stealthily chasing a pray for slaughter,  

nor by forcefully launching into an ongoing sustained raging epic battle determined to defeat a self-proclaimed nemesis,

I slayed you,

by allowing you to be,… watching you,… sensing you,…

 and recognizing that you just are a small piece of my being,

Nothing More -nothing less.

I slayed you,

Because I refused to allow you cause me cease to be,

I slayed you,

By experiencing your unsuccessful repetitive efforts seeking to dictate my reality,

And in the process transforming and elevating me to full awareness.

I am awake!

You are primordial to the divine me.

In total surrender,

I stripped you of your power over me.

Thus I change,

You are of past, and I am fully present. Now I know,… now I LIVE!

 

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.