Via email from our elder Nzinga Heru, President of The Association For The Study of Classical African Civilizations. If you can make it to Chicago (or are in the Chi already) we encourage you to check this joint out (registration form):
Knowledge and Leadership in the 21st Century: In the spirit of our Ancestors, our Pan-African global family, and the yet unborn, I extend a warm invitation for you to join us for our 26th annual Ancient Kemetic (Egyptian) Studies Conference. For the past 25 years, ASCAC has demonstrated a consistent commitment to provide the Pan-African global family with an institutional vehicle for the presentation of knowledge of African civilizations and its relevance to our contemporary lives.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the knowledge and leadership of ASCAC remains imperative. ASCAC is not only vigilant and conscious of its moral obligation and responsibility to counter the political, cultural, and psychological oppression of African people, but it also continues to promote, preserve, and disseminate African cultural and intellectual enlightenment that sustains our humanity and is the foundation of our liberation.
In a few short weeks, we will gather in Chicago to celebrate our past 25 years of existence at the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern University. Our 2009 theme, “Wisdom Instructions for Life”: Knowledge and Leadership in the 21st Century was inspired by the life of one of our founders, Jacob H. Carruthers (maa kheru- true of voice), and his extensive commentary and speeches on the wisdom tradition of our ancient African ancestors. Since the conference will be held at the site where Jacob H. Carruthers worked and engaged in “Intellectual Warfare” for over thirty years, it is only fitting that we draw from his good speech (medu nefer) to frame the theme and vision of our conference:
“We should not rest until the truth is taught about Africa to people of African ancestry. The members of ASCAC ought to re-dedicate ourselves to the liberation of African people through education, research, spiritual development and creative productions. The members of ASCAC ought to re-commit to the Sebayet Tradition which is based in Maat. The Sebayet Tradition is the African theory and practice of wise instruction whereby the wise elder, in the way of Ptah Hotep, imparts knowledge and the ways of medew nefer (good speech) to the youth because “no one is born wise.” The Sebayet Tradition should be undertaken in love for the youth and love for the nation. For, if the nation is to survive, the youth must understand the principles which give life, power, and health to its people. If we reestablish the Sebayet Tradition now, we will be speaking and doing Maat, i.e. speaking and doing the right thing in providing our people with the right education. This right education of African people should destroy the slave and colonial mentality forever. This right education of African people should destroy the false belief in African inferiority and European superiority. This right education of African people should equip them with strategies to counter racism and white supremacy. This right education of African people should give them the strength, wisdom, courage and skill to build a new nation. Creation happened on the east bank of the Nile thousands of years ago. Where it began, so shall the solution be found. The answer lies in the Divine Speech (Medew Netcher) of Jehewty and our ancestors. Thus, the movement to adopt African-centered education because in it lies Divine Speech, the Sebayet Tradition and the good speech (medew nefer) that give life, power, and health to African people.”
The ASCAC conference this year promises, as always, to inspire African people to continue to drink from the deep well of the “Wisdom Instructions for Life” from our ancestors and find guidance in understanding our past, present, and future in organizing and guiding the ongoing struggles to promote and perpetuate African-centered knowledge and leadership in the 21st century. Jacob Carruthers often said that “the reward for doing good work is more work.” Come to Chicago prepared to reflect and celebrate the good works of ASCAC over the past 25 years, and to continue to plan our work for the future!
Shem-em-Hotep [May you go in peace]
Nzinga Ratibisha Heru, International President
The Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations