Grassroots organizational leaders and other community-based leaders and advocates have the opportunity to participate in the Serving from the Grassroots brown-bag “Lunch-and-Learn” sessions focused on building an ongoing “community of practice for grassroots leaders” by providing capacity building and technical assistance on topics relevant to effectively developing and managing grassroots organizations and initiative.

As we enter our second year of this project, we hope that you will take advantage of the upcoming Lunch & Learn Workshops.  There are free to attend!  Just bring your lunch and join us.  The yearlong schedule is presented here.  We hope that you can join us!

All Lunch & Learns are held the 4th Friday every other month at the Sedgwick County Division of Health, 1900 E. 9th Street Wichita, KS from 11: 30 – 12:30 unless otherwise indicated (August, December)

black-hebrew-israelites-1Did you know that you don’t have to be an “elder” to be a member of the African American Council of Elders ~ Wichita/Sedgwick County? The Council is looking for interested individuals between the ages of 18 – 59 to serve as Scribes and Associate Elders (Elders-in-Training). The Council is looking for individuals interested in working toward positive change in our  community and who are willing to apply hands and hearts to an assortment of work to support and BUILD our community. Training is available and will be provided! If you are interested, please email us at to be added to the list for our next upcoming Orientation and Training! Looking forward to hearing from you!!!



Queen Mother Wakeelah Pic from Eagle Article

On Friday, March 31, 2017, at 8 PM CST the newly formed National Black Council of Elders conducted its first virtual National Enstoolment Ceremony. Roughly, 30 attendees witnessed or engaged in this momentous occasion for African American Communities nationwide.

The ceremony began to the rhythmic vibrant beat of African Drum Calls. The Queen Mother Wakeelah Martinez, of the Chartered Wichita, Kansas Council of Elders gave ceremonial directions for the deputies and words of wisdom. The prospective Deputies (20 Elders and 4 Emissaries) repeated their pledges to leadership positions in the National African American Community as they function in Ministry.

*Initiate Elders pledge to not only provide leadership for the African American community, but also, to lead by Spiritual example, and to promote African Values and Ethics as a means of establishing social order, harmony, balance, and justice. Based on these values which derive from Ma’at and Nguzo Saba, policies will be formulated in a comprehensive manner, but from multidimensional perspectives which are reflected in the 21 Ministries of NBCOE. The resulting policies, programs, projects, and solutions designed will:

  1. Encourage new and expanded Industry Building, e.g., Fashion, Sustainable Development, Health Care Delivery, Collective Concern (for elderly, disabled, orphaned, abused and foster children) and Crisis Preparedness.
  2. Institution Building – including a Pan African and Local Council Of Elders; National African American Congress (an Official policy making body); National Black Assembly (organizing body representing each sector of our National Community); National Rights of Passage; Diasporan Commonwealth; Banking Network, Agricultural and Food Distribution Network; Agricultural and Food Distribution Network etc. The Elders Enstooled/Deputized on this occasion represent a larger number to be Enstooled over the coming weeks.

Also given the Pledge were Emissaries who will head up a number of projects and official Ministries of NBCOE.

Queen Mother Wakeelah – Wichita, KS
President Senghor Baye | UNIA – Wash. DC
Universal Negro Improvement Association
(Marcus Garvey Organization)
Min. John Henry – SC
Sis. Leona Abdulla – CO
Sis. Amina Thomas – ATL
Pres. Elder Terrell – Wichita, KS
Sis. Francesca Abbey – MA
Rev. Joann Watson – Detroit
Dr. Akil Khalfani – Newark, NJ
Bro. Heru Ammen – Charlotte, NC
Sis. Kelly Kelly – DC
Bro. Yonah El – ATL
Bro. Ernest Dillihay – LA
Sis. Bee Hall – LA
Mwalimu W. Kabaila – LA
Bro. Isreal – NC
Sis. Rehema Nkisi – DC (p)
Sis. Joann Farmer – KC, MO (p)
Dr. Ron Jones – NY (p)
Hershel Daniels – Cincinnati, OH (p)
Sis. Veronica Woolfolk – STL
NBCOE | Chief Executive Emissary of Communication
Minister of Public Relations and Affairs
Sis. Phoenicia Hudson – LA
NBCOE | Communications, Membership
Sis. Kali Ma’at – CA
NBCOE | Women and Health
Timothy McClure – San Diego
NBCOE |At large

The ceremony ended with more sacred drum rhythms and dance. Prayers from Dr. Akil Khalfani, a Yoruba Priest, and a reading from the Kemetic Sacred Text, the Husia, with a verse from the Book of Ptahhotep, one of the oldest recorded Sacred Texts, concluded the event.

For more information and photos, please visit and like us on Facebook:  The Wichita African American Council of Elders

It’s important that lessons learned over time aren’t forgotten, say the elders of the African-American Council of Elders Wichita/Sedgwick County.

So on Monday, the council enstooled eight new elders and five new associate elders and scribes as part of a celebration to mark the beginning of Kwanzaa.

Calling the Elders!!!

Posted: March 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


When I am old
and my tired, aching body
begins to fold in upon itself,
and my spirit holds the valued keys
to every lesson learned;

Then will I sit down
among generations I have made
and weave satiny-smooth tales
made of lived and unlived dreams
and course realities.

Then will I sit down
among hearts that need my touch
and boast of conquered realms
and weep for necessary pains
that I have wrought.

When I am old
and my once-strong woman-fullness
has withered, worn and left me
(while yet my spirit holds its fullness
and the melody to its song):

Only then will I sit and rest
for the meaning for my being
will have blossomed to its peak
and my soul will seek its refuge
on higher, brighter planes.

And with my peace in my pocket,
made of light and morning dew,

I will sing sweet songs of joy and freedom
On my way home.

© Maaskelah K. Thomas 1998


2012 Enstooling of New Elders – Wichita/Sedgwick County

As individuals pass through youth and into adulthood, there is also a stage past adulthood where the cumulative learning of a lifetime is embodied. We call this Elderhood, and although our current systems in the United States have increasingly marginalized those in this group, traditional African societies throughout the continent understood the invaluable resources this life stage represents. In traditional African societies, transitions from one life stage to the next, from birth through elderhood, were marked with specific and predetermined rites of passage. 

African Americans are generations removed from these traditions. The increased urbanization of African Americans from Reconstruction through present times fractured this intentional practice of acknowledging and marking. However, the African American community, up through the era of Reconstruction, maintained cognition of the purposefulness of acknowledging and marking these transitions. Racism, social stigmatization, social and economic disenfranchisement, community disorganization and other societal challenges have resulted in an overabundance of negative psychosocial and health outcomes for African Americans. In spite of that or perhaps as a consequence, Africans in the Diaspora – including us in the United States – continue our attempts to hold onto some parts of our cultural legacy, in spite of the mass adoption of alien social and cultural norms.

Elders Council Guide and Toolkit now available at

Calling the Elders – Reclaiming and Transforming Our Communities through Elder Wisdom: A Guide and Toolkit for Developing Local Councils of Elders is a simple guidebook, designed for those interested in our continuance. In it you will find one model for community Councils of Elders, along with practical steps and processes for ways to engage our entire community in reconnecting the links that have historically been our strength. The guide contains a brief overview of the historical importance of such Councils, as well as practical steps and tools to plan and develop such a foundational structure in communities throughout the United States and the Diaspora. The desire and ultimate goal is that communities will then be able to utilize these institutions to reconnect our communities – local, nationally and internationally – based on our common ground, as exemplified through the wisdom of our Elders.

Now available at or



Presiding Elder Jihad T. Muqtasid – Address to the Sedgwick County/Wichita Board of County Commissioners, extracted from the Regular Meeting of the Board on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 in the County Commission Meeting Room in the Courthouse in Wichita, Kansas.

 Throughout all of recorded human history, African societies have found it beneficial, even necessary to seek council from the elders of their communities.  The elders were seen as having greater experience, greater wisdom and a more balanced viewpoint and a greater connection to the ancestors and their ancestral spirit.  For these reasons, the elders were central figures in the life of their respective communities.  Guidance was issued from the elders, values and standards were exemplified by the elders, conflicts and disputes were mediated by the elders and respect and honor were paid to the elders.

The elders in these communities acted in an organized fashion, through elder council. These councils were generally headed by either a chief or a presiding elder and a queen mother.  The structure and scope of each council varied according to the need of their respective community but they all shared a common link in that they all recognized the value of assembling the collective wisdom of the people and mobilizing it for the betterment and survival of the whole.

We in America, even specifically here in Wichita, can learn a valuable lesson from our ancestors and kin, as we watch our communities slowly drift further away from the lessons and values that once defined us.  We could benefit from the assembled wisdom of our elders more now than ever before. 

Our community has lost its respect for elders.  Our community has lost respect for the temperance and wisdom that only years of experience can teach.  Our community has lost faith in the connection between our lives and those of our ancestors.  Subsequently, our community has lost its way.

— Presiding Elder Jihad Talib Muqtasid, representing The African American Council of Elders, Wichita/Sedgwick County, Wichita, Kansas

Return to the way, the way of reciprocity. Not merely taking, not merely offering. Giving, but only to those from whom we receive in equal measure. Receiving, but only from those whom we give in equal measure. How easy, how just the way. Yet how easily, how utterly you have forgotten it.” – Ayi Kwei Armah


WHEREAS, in many cultures, the older generations play an extensive role in the nuturing,
education and support for the family, with high levels of interaction and respect; and
WHEREAS, this ‘‘intergenerational’’ approach has helped to shape the beliefs and values of
succeeding generations, building bridges between generations, and recognizing the value older
generations have in molding the lives of our youth; and
WHEREAS, through ‘‘intergenerational’’ support, people of different generations share their talents and resources and support each other in relationships that benefit both the individual and their community; and
WHEREAS, there are unlimited intergenerational opportunities within families and the
community, connecting generations through communication, celebrations and education, providing future generations with an appreciation for rich cultural heritages, traditions and histories.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that I, Ben Sciortino, Chairman of the Board of
Sedgwick County Commissioners, do hereby proclaim May 2002 as ‘‘INTERGENERATIONAL APPRECIATION MONTH’’ in Sedgwick County and encourage citizens to recognize the value of bringing together different generations as part of daily life, so we can enjoy and benefit from the richness of an age integrated society. Commissioners, what’’s the will of the Board?””
Commissioner Winters moved to adopt the proclamation and authorize the Chairman to
Commissioner Norton seconded the Motion.