It takes a Harambee Village to raise a child. Cultural connection is a village for the village

Cultural Connection

Harambee Youth Connections (HYC) is a vehicle for Black Excellence and mentorship

  • Youth in the HYC have the opportunity to interact with other youth and adults that represent themselves.
  • HYC supports cultural identity, confidence, self-love, communication and community appreciation.
  • HYC offers a cultural response to addresses the disparities in psychological well-being where anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation become rampant.
  • Youth have the opportunity to write resumes to improve work opportunities while building community resilience.

HCBMAA has several programs to engage youth of all ages;

The Glen Edward Kuumba Literacy Program

(Saturdays at the Arcata Farmers Market)

Helps with reading, writing, and language development for youth ages 4-18. This program helps connect youth to cultural bearers that offer bilingual language, Afrocentric arts and somatic movement to expand cultural knowledge while increasing learning outcomes for different learners.

Youth also have the opportunity to partner with Sister mentor(s) weekly to help with homework and computer technology assistance. Afterward, students are able to engage in an outside activity and enjoy a nutritional snack. Sister mentors consist of volunteers from Cal-Poly Humboldt University that  help make the Glen Edward Kuumba Literacy and Y.E.S.S. (Youth Education Support Services) successful.

The Glen Edward Kuumba Foundation host a yearly MLK Community Learning Center to honor Ujamaa. If you are interested in supporting a learning environment with somatic healing movement or other gifts, applications for all vendors and volunteers, start in early November.

If you want to donate books, written for BIPOC by BIPOC to the Glen Edward Kuumba Library contact the cultural educator.

The Glen Edward Kuumba Literacy Program is on the National Literacy Directory 

Death is Real by Glen Edward

Available for purchase on the following platforms

Proceeds benefit the literacy program

Y.E.S.S. (Youth Education Support Services) with Sistamentors

(Fall & Spring)

HC Black Music and Arts Association is excited about three programs; Y.E.S.S. (Youth Education Support Services), B-Connect  and The Ujima Parent Peer Support. These program support youth and families and are available in the Fall and Spring.

Contact the youth coordinator at

The Youth Education Support Services empowers and acknowledges black and brown student's success at school by creating inspiration through mentoring, tutoring, and cultural communication to primary, middle school, and high school. Mwanafunzi (students) are offered 1 hour and a half a week to do homework, engage in an activity, and have a nutritional lunch with a Sister Jenga. 

Sister are jenga (mentors) to students from Cal-Poly Humboldt University.

Based on your conversation with the youth coordinator, your youth will be paired with a Sister  that best fits your youth's needs.

The Sister goal is to be a support system for your youth for the 12  weeks during the Fall or Spring school session.

You can present your comments or questions at

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(Curriculum for schools)

The B-CONNECT provides the village essential needs to thrive while finding meaningful purpose within Humboldt County rural community. B-Connect offers access to centralized culturally relevant community resources, networks of influence, investment, educators, education support systems, products and services to alleviate pressures from cultural starvation and persistent enslavement systemic trauma. 

The B-Connect is culturally invested, offering workshops and seminars that are designed to prepare youth in transitioning towards their Nia as responsible human beings. The program may include seminars like, communication, emotional response, interview techniques, resume writing, dress for success, financial management, mentorship etc. In the words of Frederick Douglass, "It's easier to build strong children than repair broken children."

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ABC Kente Donning Ceremony

(Held the 3rd week of May)

The Kente Donning Ceremony is an annual cultural achievement ceremony held by HCBMAA that celebrates African Black and Caribbean (ABC) students in Humboldt County who recognize their cultural roots. The ceremony gives mwanafunzi (students) the chance to celebrate their accomplishments and acknowledge someone special in their lives. Mwanafunzis can choose who will present them with the kente stole at the Ubuntu gathering. The presenter uses this act to recognize the hard work the student put into their passions and a wish of success for the future. ABC seniors that participate are presented with a stole handmade of African kente cloth that symbolizes and celebrates prestige in many African societies. The kente stole is a visual representation of African history, philosophy, ethics, language, values, social code of conduct, religious beliefs, political thought, and aesthetic principles in a cultural context. The cloth was worn by kings, queens, and important figures in Ghanaian society, during ceremonial events and special occasions. Students will be able to wear the stoles proudly at their local high graduation.

Opportunities for ABC's in Humboldt:

Participating in the African Black Caribbean Community Kente Donning Ceremony on the Arcata Plaza at 2:00 pm

Celebrating with HCBMAA at the Black Panther Party in November

Hanging out with Black Humboldt during family night

Volunteering at the MLK Learning Centers honoring ABC Liberation and Excellence in January 

Joining the Black Student Union e-mail

The Eureka NAACP supports Black Student Unions (BSU) throughout Humboldt County middle/high-schools, Universities, and Colleges. Together they are known as the All Humboldt Black Student Union (AHBSU). To apply for scholarships with the Eureka NAACP go to

Participation application

To participate in the ABC Kente Donning Ceremony, please fill out the form below by April 5

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HYC Summer Program

(Last week in July and first week in August) New Program - President's Week !!!

*Summer Program Returns in 2024* The summer program is a designated space for youth of color, ages 7-14. This program has a beautiful mosaic of African Diaspora peoples that represents many hues of melanated skin; from the sages, to the cultural bearers, to the learners. The HYC fulfills a need in Humboldt County’s small representation of 1.4% of African people and 27% of BIPOC.. 

HYC welcomes youth from foster programs, re-entry, and summer vacationers in this designated learning space. For more information, contact the youth coordinator.

NEW HYC PROGRAM "Youth Leaders of Tomorrow" offered during President's week!!!!

Youth Leaders of Tomorrow holiday program is cultivated by BIPOC educators with creative artistic skills and somatic movement facilitators. Teenagers ages 16-18 that have been through the Rosa Parks Rites of Passage can apply to work as mentors during the President's Week Program. We also support seniors from the Black Student Union wanting to volunteer as a mentor to a mentee. Contact the youth coordinator, if you are interested in becoming a mentor for the HYC.

To register for Youth Leaders of Tomorrow (child care) for ages 6-14 during President's Week, go to Application for child care open on MLK Day and end the Friday before President's Week!


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The Rites of Passage

The Rites of Passage is a sacred time for youth to explore and identify ties to self, community, family and Afrocentric practices. Cultural factors play a huge role in Black Mental Health, Wellness, and Healing. In honor of Black Heritage, youth have the ability to participate in the Rosa Parks Rites of Passage during the summer based on their African ancestry or African American lineage. If your youth is interested in participating, contact 

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The Harambee Village reports

“These youth deserve a healthy, fulfilling outlet and a community of support and this is a step in that direction.”

- Sanchez Family

“The Food Drive is awesome”

- Angelica

“The Liberation Celebration was awesome. Inspiring to see all the great community work that is being accomplished…. My family had fun.”

- Cedric Aaron

“I had a dream of the Rites of Passage for my daughters.”

- Caitlyn

"Bags of love are fantastic! We appreciate the support from the community. Looking forward to joining the art and music classes."

- Community Member

"Thank you HCBMAA so much for being in the community. God Bless you!"

- Community Member

"I enjoy participating in HCBMAA’s events, such a great experience always feel very welcomed. <3"

- Community Ally Member

"Thank you for the continued support of our family. It’s wonderful to be part of this community <3"

- Community Member

"I keep seeing your name pop up in Humbolt County news for events to promote cultural diversity. Just wanted to say - way to go!! This kind of work has always been your heart's passion"

- Leslie

"Thank you so much for these Bags of Love to feed my family!"

- Paige

"So glad the Black Community has a space, like HC Black Music and Arts Association, that is not disrupted by my Whiteness. I am working on sitting and listening and learning instead of judging and assuming what I know about Black traditions. "

- Community Ally Member

"My daughter loved the HYC Summer Program "

- Tykeisha

"I did not know that HCBMAA has been offering Summer programs since 2019. I’m glad there was space for them this Summer. My children will definitely be attending future sessions."

- Parent