by Staff –
True Networking Thursdays (TNT) will host their 20th anniversary milestone Gala, Thursday, September 20, 2018 at the Genesee Valley Club on East Avenue, Rochester, NY.
The theme for the Gala is Harambee, a Swahili term that means “all pull together”. Organizers say they want to create a joint celebration that highlights and commemorate other local like-minded groups.
“We chose Harambee because we feel it exemplifies the overall mission and values of TNT,” explains Dr. Frederick Jefferson, a Gala Committee Member. “The programs and events of Black created organizations all aspire to the “all pull together” Harambee mantra through efforts that are designed to strengthen Black culture and community. To that end we believe a community Harambee that recognizes and celebrates the contributions of these individual groups would create a powerful community-bonding energy that will support Black collective efforts in Education, Social Justice, Entrepreneurship, Political and Community Leadership.”
The organization was established in 1998 with the stated purpose to strengthen the community by providing resources and networking opportunities to local professionals and new-comers to the Rochester area.
Members and guests meet every third Thursday at a predetermined business location. The locations change every month so that a new business can be introduced and highlighted.
“It’s ultimately about empowering our community and finding ways to connect people so we can support each other,” explains TNT president Kimberly Mitchell.
Mitchell assumed her role in January and has been working feverishly to keep the organizations mission and purpose at the forefront of every meeting. “It’s quite simple,” she explains. “The intent of our service to Rochester’s Black community is in our tag line. We INTRODUCE, INFORM, INTERACT AND INSPIRE”.
To support the community-bonding energy created by the community Harambee celebration, organizers are planning that the Journal for the TNT Harambee Gala will be primarily a catalogue of many of the Black individual and group Harambee efforts existing in the Greater Rochester Community.
As part of the TNT Harambee Gala there will be three award recognitions. “Three of the seven Kwanzaa principles (Nguzo Saba) define TNT’s central purpose and work: Umoja, Ujima, and Ujamaa,” explains Dr. Jefferson.
Umoja (Unity) – To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) – To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) – To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Jefferson says the organization plans to identify individuals and/or organizations to receive TNT Harambee recognition awards in the three abovementioned categories.
Pulling it all together in the words of TNT’s tagline, the TNT Harambee community celebration will be designed to INTRODUCE some of the many Black Community building efforts to one another, begin to INFORM the Greater Rochester Community of their existence, provide the opportunity to leaders and members of these endeavors to INTERACT with one another and to INSPIRE members of the younger Black generations to develop their own unique iterations of community bonding and building.
The groups and organizations that will be recognized and celebrated at the gala include:
AALDP (African American Leadership Development Program), Akoma, Akwaaba, About….Time, BAG (Black Agenda Group), Baobab Cultural Center, Black Heritage Committee, Black Women’s Leadership Forum, Black Box Theater, BOB Rochester (Black Owned Businesses), Cameroon Association, Manhattan Golf Club, Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, Mood Makers, New Africa Cultural Center, North Star Rites of Passage, Pillars of Hope, Rochester Area Black Journalists, Rochester Jamaican Association, STAR Debutantes, The Black Physicians Network, Ujamaa Rising, Inc., Ujima Rochester.
Tickets for the gala are $65 each. For more information about obtaining tickets, table and journal information email TNTAnniversaryCommittee@gmail.com or call 585-340-7049