In a world of turmoil, there is an organization called Sister Cities International that believes in handshakes, hugs, and a bit of cheer rather than war between people of different countries.
Here locally, Asheville Sister Cities, Inc. (ASCI) has partnered with Zamani Refuge African Culture Center (ZRACC), both 501(c)3 non-profits, to reach out to the local African American community for a special visit. During the week of April 16-24, Asheville will host a delegation from Osogbo, Nigeria. The group includes the Deputy Governor of Osun State, where Osogbo is located, Otunba Titilayo Laoye-Tomori. There are also doctors, teachers, engineers, nurses and more in the delegation. The visit includes a mix of formal meetings with area organizations, the city, UNCA and ABTech, as well as time to meet local Black Ashevillians at places like The Southside Kitchen, United Community Development, Hood Huggers Tour or dinner at the Calypso Restaurant.
This year’s visit is focused on solidifying the foundational work which was begun in 2006. Local Osogbo Chairs Sandra Frempong and Katie Ryan navigate the ship in a time where friendships in foreign countries make sense now more than ever. A small two person non-profit, Zamani Refuge is working with ASCI and local black businesses to take the usual delegation experience to the next level. ZRACC focuses on bridging folks from different life experiences together to solve at the micro level the problems that we share in common as humans on this earth. This will be the third delegation visit from Asheville’s Sister City, Osogbo, Nigeria.
Where you can meet them:
– April 20, Friday, Edington Center, 133 Livingston Street, 5:30 pm to 8:00pm. Theme: Spiritual Supper- Featuring Orisha songs with the Sahara Peace Choir. Speakers from all denominations are invited to offer prayer and solutions to inner and outer Peace. Food by Southside Kitchen. Donations welcomed. TO RSVP AND FOR More info: 828-808-7816
– April 21, Saturday, the Refinery Create Space 207 Coxe, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. ZRACC and ASCI present the Art of Citizen Diplomacy; This night promises to be an entertaining friendraiser featuring the Celestial Grooves of Song of Life Ensemble. Song of Life is Bilal Sunni-Ali, sax and flute; Vince Hakim, bass; Rashah Amen, percussion and flute. Food by Soce. Advance tickets required: $25.pp, available online at www.ashevillesistercities.org.
Tax deductible donations are accepted by ASCI and ZRACC, both 501(c)3’s, at youcaring.com/osg2018.