A Journey Toward Racial Righteousness

Sankofa is a word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. It means San (to return), ko (to go) fa (to fetch, seek, and take). The bird with its head turned backward taking an egg off its back embodies Sankofa’s meaning. Sankofa attests that we must look backward (into our history), before we can faithfully move forward together, in the present and future. The Sankofa experience does just this, by exploring historic sites of the Civil Rights Movement, connecting the freedom struggle of the past, to our present realities.

Sankofa invites the Church to understand racial righteousness as a critical component of our Christian discipleship. This immersive discipleship pilgrimage equips believers to participate in the kingdom mosaic and pursue biblical justice. Sankofa empowers participants to become ambassadors of reconciliation inside and outside the church. Find a partner and join us on the bus!

Registration is Open!

Our next trip will take place October 13-16, 2022

  • The trip will start and end in Atlanta, GA (please note: this is a change from previous trips which started/ended in Chicago, IL).
  • This trip is being offered for the same price as before ($475 for Covenanters, $575 for non-Covenanters) but will now feature additional destinations and an additional night of lodging! (Please note: No refunds will be issued within 14 days of trip dates.)
  • For the safety of the bus drivers, vendors, and any with pre-existing health considerations, we are asking all participants to upload a picture of their Covid vaccination card(s) at time of registration.
  • Other questions? Email Lmdj@covchurch.org or call 773-596-2489

Journey Description

Sankofa is a West African word meaning “looking backward to move forward.” The Sankofa Journey seeks to assist disciples of Christ on their move toward a righteous response to the social ills related to racism. This interactive experience explores historic sites of importance in the Civil Rights movement, places of oppression and inequality for people of color, while seeking to move participants toward healing the wounds and racial divide caused by hundreds of years of racial injustice in the United States of America.

A Sankofa Journey increases one’s awareness, understanding, and sensitivity for past struggles, victories, and continuing racist oppression existing in our country. The journey explores how far we have come, and how far we have yet to go. Sankofa allows participants the opportunity to consider how together, we might better address racial righteousness in our church, our nation, and our world.

On this three-day bus journey, participants will travel to critical sites of past and present racial injustice, such as Birmingham, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; and Memphis, Tennessee. We will meet and hear from persons directly involved in ministries of justice in Mississippi, visit places like the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, civil rights institutions, and more.

A Sankofa Journey is not just about information of the past and present, but seeks to be a journey for both personal and corporate change. Simply put, it is a journey of spiritual transformation. Through sites visited, videos watched, and active processing of the journey, relationships of trust are deepened in an environment of grace.

Reflections

The message of Sankofa continues on through us!

“This was life-changing for me. I have many new heroes now: the men, women, and children who stood up against injustice and marched for freedom in the face of severe persecution. I am angry that this rich history is not taught in our schools. All American children need to know about these magnificent role models.”

“My life will never be the same. I have made choices, whether conscious or unconscious, which allow racism and injustice to continue. I commit to forever be an agent for change in this area, and I owe that to the confrontation of the truth through the Sankofa Journey.”

“I came on this journey not expecting anything really. I wasn’t excited, I wasn’t angry, and I wasn’t prepared for what was in store for me. I came looking at this as an opportunity to do something different – and I got that! Would I do it again? Possibly! Would I recommend it to others? Definitely! In fact I would encourage others to take part in Sankofa. I have been informed, enlightened, and empowered.”

“One thing that became clear to me during Sankofa is that I need to go beyond understanding and head knowledge and begin to allow the realities of racism to impact my heart – embracing sadness, anger, repentance, vulnerability, and even suffering. I’m not sure exactly how that will happen, but seeing what I saw and hearing the stories that I heard on Sankofa was a start for me.”

“Sankofa Journey bus books and seminars cannot equate the impact of one Sankofa Journey. In the bus’ crucible of forced proximity in cramped quarters, layers of political correctness were stripped away. What was revealed in our group was painful but certainly moved me to deeper understanding of racial injustice and my own prejudices. The pain served as a catalyst to action; without it, I may never have addressed my prejudices nor become engaged in racial justice.”

“Sankofa is a journey that every American – black, white, Asian, Latino, young, or old – should experience. You will find yourself exploring the hidden recesses of your heart and soul that you may not have even known existed. And in the end, you will have gained an invaluable insight into how someone of another race processes the pain and suffering wrought by social injustice and racism. Hopefully from there you will resolve to move forward to make the world you live in a better place for all people.”

“Sankofa was transforming for me. I’ve had the privilege of taking two. While they were totally different experiences they both helped to break up some strongholds I’ve built within me to protect me from prejudice, but which kept me back from relationship with others. There were several memorable experiences that stand out in my mind. The lynching display at the King Center in Atlanta shook everybody in the group and reduced most of us to tears. Marching around a courthouse in South Georgia to protest their discriminatory practices was also a high point. Sitting in on trials and seeing the subtle and obvious ways the justice system can be used to demean people was also very riveting. I would be willing to participate in similar experiences and help educate others to be more sensitive and pro-active in racial reconciliation.”