African arts and culture
In 1986, the members of Wo’se Community Church decided that there was a need to develop an independent, African-centered educational institution in Oakland, California. Members were concerned with the mis-education and the culturally and spiritually deficient education imposed on African and African American youth in the public schools. The members of Wo’se Community Church established Ile Omode as a manifestation of kujichagulia, or self-determination.
Ile Omode are words of the Yoruba people of West Africa. Together, they mean House of the Children. Ile Omode began its formal educational program in 1986, and is now the home to students from preschool through 8th grade.
In 2013 and 2012, Ile Omode received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to support an annual community-wide celebration of Kwanzaa’s Umoja Night (unity) for Kwanzaa. Showcasing children that attend the cultural arts afterschool and summer program where they learn West African dance and drum, as well as local artists. Open to the wider community, the observance draws a wide audience in Oakland.