This principle is informed in the first by the dialogue that occurred between myself and Sis. Shanika regarding how we act on the principle of Unity in the course of performing our duty to the individual communities in which we operate.  It is informed in the second by my dialogue with Bro. Jitu on the development of the charter school movement and the devaluation of the Local School Council as a power base from which the community can inform the direction of the school.

If we observe the principles as series of stages that interact with one another and operate towards the ultimate objective of creating a cohesive and forward looking community, we would see in this observation that Nia is the stage in which we envision what future direction our community will take.  We have unified.  We have determined as a unit what we should do.  We have set the stage for collectively working amongst ourselves.  We have examined our resources and committed a portion of them to be returned to this community that it may grow and be sustained.

Nia is the place where we part ways if but briefly because we should recognize that we cannot always operate within a vacuum unless we are choosing that we should always remain a fringe community.  Nia calls us to be larger and more expansive.  I envision that what is happening at Shabazz, Freedom Academy, the Harlem Children’s Zone, and elsewhere should inform the future of the education of Black children everywhere.  It is one thing for us to get this right inside of a single institution, but can we franchise it?

Can we create communities such as these nationally and internationally while keeping the fiber and fabric of those institutions singular in thought, heart, and action?  This is the difference between making a change today that resonates to the following day or establishing a legacy of change the reverberates across 7 generations as the indigenous members of the Americas have stated.  Nia creates a continuum for us to declare that what we do shall last. – tekhen djehuti

PURPOSE (NIA)Knowledge: A collective design set up as an end, intent, or objective to be attained. Wisdom: To make our collective duty and vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. Understanding: For lack of a vision, the people perish. Where there is no vision, there can be no purpose because the people can’t see where they desire to go. Where there is no purpose, the people lack direction. This results in a people who are lost and without the basic, elementary values that fuel the creation of a community. Our purpose directs how each of us functions in our everyday lives because when we truly understand our common destiny, we will do what is beneficial to mold that destiny into the fulfillment of our legacy of greatness.