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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Affinity celebrates Burning Bowl while looking toward the future
by Vern Hester
2024-03-19

This article shared 6323 times since Tue Mar 19, 2024
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On March 17, Affinity Community Services held its annual Burning Bowl ceremony even as it already sets its organizational sights on 2025.

The event, titled Burning Bowl 2024 Evolution, was held at Studio Imani, 5917 N. State St. and featured a traditional musical performance by the all-woman Drum Divas; a reading by poet-activist e nina jay; an awards presentation; and a keynote address from celebrated writer, poet, and performer C.C. Carter.

This time out, a portion of the gathering was set aside for the members to make suggestions for 2025 which will bring the 30th Anniversary of Affinity Community Services.

After a welcome from Affinity Board President Aisha N. Davis, the buffet opened for lunch and The Drum Divas performed as members mingled and socialized. After e nina jay performed, Affinity member and activist Pat McCombs presented the Barbara "Robbie" Smith Award of Excellence to Tarrina Dikes. The award recognizes Affinity members who exemplify strength, perseverance, compassion and integrity.

Carter then presented a discussion on the true definition of the word 'evolution,' and spoke about how Affinity had evolved as an organization. Jackie Boyd of the Care Plan then spoke about Affinity's outlook with the question, "How should Affinity evolve into the future?"

For the close of Burning Bowl 2024 Evolution the ritual tradition of The Burn took place. The process is a long-used ritual for helping cleanse and release relationships, situations and feelings that the individual does not want to take with them into the new year. The idea is that by burning that which is difficult and negative of today, an individual can free themselves for a brighter tomorrow.

The process involves writing down burdens and negativity from the previous year, and then burning them to release oneself from their capture. The second part involves the individual writing down of goals, affirmations and positive thoughts for the coming year and placing them it in a self-addressed envelope for the new year.

For more information on Affinity or its peer led programs, go to affinity95.org .


This article shared 6323 times since Tue Mar 19, 2024
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