3rd Annual Day of Renewal
A Celebration of African American Culture & Diversity
Join us as we Reveal Honor & Celebrate Newport's African American Heritage on Saturday June 15, 2019
at the Great Friends Meeting House
Look who will be there this year June 15, 2019
Photos and Videos from 2017's Event
Our Day of Renewal was a celebration of culture and diversity. This is what one of our participants had to say.
Thank you Melody Lee O'Brien for your heart felt sentiments!
"Today as I looked around and saw a blend of different races and faces, skin tone and ethnicity all enjoying such a rich, vibrant, beautiful culture my heart was beyond joyful. To hear drumming and watch black people feel free and comfortable to dance and celebrate in that historical space, it comforted me. At the end of the tree dedicated I held on to a branch of that powerful, mighty tree said a quiet blessing and then left a medicine offering to respect the life within that tree, to respect the roots and life force it represents. I pray that in our lifetime we see the change."
Take a look at the photos below.
THE LIBERTY TREE DEDICATION
Dr. Edward E. Andrews
Department of History & Classics
"On this day, as the community gathers together in a celebration of life, renewal, and African American culture here in Newport, it is important to reflect on those that came before us: the lives they lived, the challenges they faced, and the spaces they inhabited. This particular space, known for generations as "The Liberty Tree" because it served as a site of symbolic protest during the American Revolution, was also an important site for the black community as well. This triangular plot of land, on the outskirts of town, near the common burying ground, and marked by a large tree, was the site of African cultural ceremonies during an age of slavery. Let this space be a reminder of the inhumanity of slavery in our midst, but also a testament to the preservation, survival, and continual renewal of Newport's African American community."
WHAT OUR COMMUNITY
SAYS ABOUT THE DAY OF RENEWAL
"We are looking forward to coming again this year! The kids had fun learning about the history and contributions of African Americans in Newport as well as experiencing fun cultural activities."
Julie Mashaw DiBari
"Yay looking forward to it! So important for all folks to come together and learn about and celebrate the incredible black heritage and history here in our city. All of the performers last year were incredible too 😍"
"Much needed and WELL DONE! - a beautiful day. So gratifying to see the City Council declare it to be an annual event. Thank you, and company. Looking forward to Day of Renewal '18 with happy anticipation <3"
"Had a great time at last year's Day of Renewal - beautiful community of people, fabulous music, fun participatory dancing, and uplifting speakers. Looking forward to attending again this year."
"It was a wonderful day filled with Newport that I grew up in. Community unity and rich cultural diversity."
Jessica-Patrice Dorsey Coulter
"This event is necessary and I’m glad my city is hosting it. We to the top 🌠👑🥇🏆💯."
"We will be there with our head wraps on and new addition!!! 👶🏿"
"This was amazing last year. Rich and engaging!"
"This is definitely needed in our community, and I'm pumped to see our culture and history represented I this type of event that brings all ppl together. I loved the music, poetry, hair wraps, and resources. Can't wait until next year!"
"I concur!! Thank you, Niko and all who made this happen! Love our hometown Newport!! Look forward to partaking in the 2nd Annual- Day of Renewal 2018 in June this year!! Look forward to speaking with you soon. ;)"
"This is such a great event! I'm grateful for the opportunity to gather with the community and celebrate the culture. Looking forward to seeing my little girls enjoy the event too."
"This was such a moving and powerful event last year. The Day of Renewal created a very special and sacred space in which education, inspiration, and celebration took place. I look forward to bringing my family back again this year. Thank you, Niko Merritt for everything that you have brought to so many who live in Newport. "
"I absolutely loved this event! It is so important for us to celebrate our rich heritage and history. The vibe was so warm and welcoming and I appreciate my beautiful sister Niko Merritt for bringing the community together. Everyone in New England needs to come out for this sacred celebration."
"This was an amazing event that I was honored to be a part of last year. We had powerful spoken word presenters, uplifting testimonies. I really felt proud having an event to celebrating our culture, heritage, and our future."
"There were so many great things about this event last year. The speakers, the music, the knowledge, the traditions, the vendors, the community...As a white woman, it is really easy for me to not think about the amazing contributions POC have made to Newport's history (my privilege) and this helped me see. This event was such a great example of what Newport CAN BE (and should be). Looking forward to seeing how many more people take the opportunity to check it out."
"My family had an awesome time last year! We will definitely be there this year with more friends and family! The dancing, music, singers, great speakers, all the activity, positive atmosphere was just a great inspiring experience for my family. What a way to start our day with family! We met some really awesome people that touched our souls. Cant wait to see whats in store for us this year😀"
"I can't wait for the Day of Renewal! I participated in the March, dancing, and even got to meet new people! It was a great time to gather with like minded people from all different walks of life..everyone had something to give and take away! Count me in Niko!"
"I am so excited! This brought the commUNITY together across all ages, genders and races. It brought awareness to the rich history Newport has in America and help to continue to stories of our ancestors who fought for such freedom and celebration. I look forward to the experience again this year!!"