Minister Donna Farrakhan keynotes USoC graduation ceremony
The 2007 graduating class of the United Sisters of Civilization (USoC) will long remember the inspiring message delivered by the ceremony’s keynote speaker.
Minister Donna Farrakhan Muhammad, daughter of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, reminded the young girls that obedience to the law of God and honoring their mother and father are the keys to a successful life.
“The scriptures require us to honor our mother and father,” Min. Donna said. “It doesn’t put conditions on your honor; it takes out of our hand judgment of our parents. Regardless of their imperfections, God requires you to honor them.”
Min. Donna stressed the importance of virtuous women to the building of a nation, noting that the teen years is the time when important skills are learned from parents.
“This is the time in your life when your mother is doing her job as teacher and teaching you the fundamentals of life–how to protect yourself, your manners, how to clean your room,” she told the graduates.
“You may ask yourself why is she taking so much time with you,” Min. Donna continued. “It is because one day you’re going to be a mother and whatever she doesn’t teach you, you won’t know to teach your children. And the worst thing to have is a bunch of ignorant grown children running around simply because you didn’t take the time to learn from your mother or that woman figure in your life.”
Min. Donna warned the girls not to get snared by the traps of a decadent society whose aim is to take them away from doing the will of God. “You cannot be the children of God and not be godly, but you have to submit your will to do the will of your parents now and you grow into doing the will of God,” she said.
The ceremony was held Apr. 14 on the campus of the University of Chicago and included song, poetry, awards and the presentation of certificates of graduation.
USoC Program Director Bercola C. X said the program has been a refuge for young girls who are seeking to improve their social skills and avoid the negative influences that may cross their paths.
“Our program is first and foremost God-centered, and we deal with real life situations that occur in the lives of our students. We try to impart skills through our various workshops and field trips that teach them how to speak to people, how to act in public, and how to be an overall caring and intelligent individual. Based on the response we get from many parents of the girls who have been through the program, I think we are being successful,” she said.
USoC was founded in 2004 as a program of Chicago-based Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization (MAGIC). It is a comprehensive 10-week program designed to improve skills and life opportunities of girls ages 13-18.
The guiding principles are self-improvement, family development, economic empowerment and social justice for all, Sister Bercola said.
Edna Foreman, a parent who was so impressed by the program that she joined its board of directors, told the audience that USoC caused her daughter to be more inquisitive and in constant search of information.
“It surprises me how open she is about information and seeking knowledge. Initially, she had a problem standing in front of people, but now I’m sure you have to take the microphone from her. She talks about the program night and day,” Ms. Foreman said.
In a brief message to the youth, parent coordinator Diane Burke told the girls to stand tall as women of excellence and that peer pressure oftentimes leads a person to do something they should not do.
“A negative environment will bring a negative result,” she said. “We as parents must encourage our young people, not degrade them. Many times our expectations for our child is not the expectation they can fulfill. We must find out what they are capable of doing and encourage them in the right direction.
“If we’re not going in the right direction, we can’t guide them in the right direction,” Ms. Burke said.
The graduates included Brittany Burke, Lenique Chatman, Jacqueline Foreman, Brittany Fowlkes, Tiara Epps, Stephanie Jordan, Jeneva Muhammad, Cherqura Muhammad and Pajdra Woods.