KIPP Empower Academy in South L.A., hosted Family Yoga Night, featuring yoga and meditation classes, African dancing exhibitions and drumming with Solo Soro, Master Drummer from Cote D’Ivoire. Students enjoyed lively performances while also having the opportunity to participate in yoga with their families and friends.
“I loved the drum circle when we all gathered around and different people came into the center and danced. I felt like it was such a perfect way to show our own authenticity and individuality,” said Misty Powell, yoga teacher and African dancer.
Attendees also interacted with and participated in yoga meditation practice with Keith Mitchell, former NFL linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars.
The event sparked inspiration in students and parents alike. “My favorite part of tonight was when I got to express myself through dance. I want to be a dancer and an artist when I grow up,” said Erin, a third-grade student at KIPP Empower Academy.”
Ladell Brown, a parent of kindergarten and second-grade students at KIPP Empower Academy added, “An event like this really brings our community together. It’s so important for us to acknowledge the Black culture and our great ancestors who paved the way.”
In 2017 KIPP Empower Academy launched its afterschool program called LOVE ACTIVISTS, which aims to promote justice through instructional meditation, yoga, music, and socioemotional learning. For Black History month, students who participate in this program will spend additional time learning about and reflecting on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and many other notable social justice activists.
“It’s part of my mission to empower my students to create a better world for themselves and to love themselves by providing safe spaces for the community to gather and provide their parents and families with tools and resources they can bring home,” said Alizah Silver, KIPP Empower Academy Yoga Teacher.