One of the highlights of the year is the HTI Holiday Mixer. During this time we have the opportunity to gather with our partners and Catalysts- the people that make us who we are- to celebrate them.
It brings me great joy to honor and recognize the consultants that help us do our work and the partners that we get to serve. And for the second year, we had the pleasure of hosting at Life Bistro in Atlanta, my son's vegan restaurant.
Like the quote above, we believe that everyday is a good day. This year we've learned, cared for, and celebrated those that we honor and love. And we continue to celebrate you, this day and all days. Thank you.
------ Folami, CEO HTI Catalysts
Each year at our Holiday Mixer, we give awards in several categories. Here's a list of this year's recognitions:
Nguzo Saba Award: Mashona Council- In recognition of living the seven principles in all that you do. Umoja - unity, Kujichagulia - self-determination, Ujima - collective work & responsibility, Ujamaa - cooperative economics, Nia - purpose, Kuumba - creativity, Imani - faith
Catalyst of the Year: The Core Team (Folami Prescott-Adams, Foluke Beveridge, Jarrod Walker, Christopher Williams) - In recognition of one’s dedication to pushing HTI to the next level of excellence in execution while honoring “the flow”.
Growth Award: Bridgett Hitchings and Patrice Holt- In recognition of dedication to Catalysts’ professional growth & development.
Promising Practice- Susan Landrum - In recognition of your demonstration of promising & impactful practices in facilitation & leadership.
Rising Newcomer: Amara Lynch- In recognition of your demonstration of willingness to jump in and show up in a way that enhances the HTI experience for everyone.
Partner of the Year: Boys and Girls Clubs of America- In recognition of your demonstration of best practices in the facilitation, leadership & execution of practices that prioritize racial equity and a sense of belonging for all. Thank you for serving, supporting, and lending your talent to HTI Catalysts.
L4J Partner of the Year: UP for Learning- In recognition of your demonstration of best practices in the facilitation, leadership & execution of building and nurturing a thriving community of youth and adults committed to the practices of teaching that prioritize racial justice and interrupt inequities.
Celebrations from Around the World
KWANZAA Celebration: My Favorite Holiday Tradition
One of my favorite holiday traditions is the Kwanzaa celebration I host for friends and family each year. Pre-covid, 100 people gathered in my home for a pot luck feast, Kwanzaa games and Zawadi (gifts) and the candle lighting ceremony. It was an honor to be featured in a NY Times article in 2020 featuring special meals. Check out my BBQ tofu recipe and more. And one note: Broil your tofu until it’s visibly crispy and sizzlingly fragrant!
------ Folami Prescott-Adams, HTI Catalysts
L4J Special Monthly Gathering
Join Dr. Folami as she celebrates the third day of Kwanzaa (Ujima - collective work and responsibility.)
Since 1994 when I first went to Barranco, a small village on the south coast of Belize, I have been going back for Christmas because where I was living had a rush of tourists over Christmas.
Less than 100 people live in Barranco and there are no stores with loud Christmas music selling potential presents. Christmas is purely spiritual with Catholic services. The photo is a view of my minimal decorations. Now I have permanently moved to Barranco.
------ Judy Lumb, L4J Participant
A Multitude of Traditions
I come from an interfaith family and thus December is a time of multiple celebrations - the flow is usually Hanukkah, Solstice, and Christmas although sometimes Hanukkah and Christmas overlap.
For us, the celebrations all center around the nurturing darkness of the longest nights and the return of the light. We come together to light candles, tell stories of rededication and miracles and eat latkes (potato pancakes) during Hanukkah.
At Solstice, we welcome the return of the light by gathering to sing around the fire and sharing food and drink. Christmas eve is a family gathering of food and games with extended chosen family and blood family, and on Christmas morning we always opened presents around the tree with the kids and my mom.
In 2020, after the passing of my mother, we left town in an RV for the holidays and celebrated out west in the beauty of Monument Valley. We set a branch in a bottle and hung a few of my mom's ornaments on the RV table and breathed in the radiant stillness of the snow-covered red natural "monuments."
Our spirituality is Earth-based and we honor the Great Mystery that surrounds us all.
Kedoshah kedoshah kedoshah shaddai tzevaot melo chol ha'eretz kevodah Holy, holy, holy is the One of Multitudes: the whole Earth is full of Their Presence.
------ McKenzie Wren, HTI Catalyst
Holiday Memories from Listeners
During our recent Learning 4 Justice gathering, listeners shared their holiday memories and what they are looking forward to in the days ahead.
"Hosting a family Christmas Eve gathering full of grub, games, and gifts." - Jarrod Walker
"I just started doing this last year, but cinnamon rolls (from Cinnaholic) on Christmas Day)" - Foluke Beveridge
"Roll up a new t-shirt for my son to fill up his stocking!" -Susan Levin-White
"New tradition...making candy with my family using my grandmother's famous recipes...my favorite is peanut clusters and fudge." - Monique Fletcher
"Bacon on the turkey. Delicious!" - Diana Masso
"We all come together with our favorite cookies and we build cookie towers." - Ceasar Stewart
L4J Winter 2022
Pre-registration is now open through December 21st