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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Empowerment, Unity, No Excuses — Self-determination Alive at the 21st Annual International Locks Conference: Natural Hair, Wholistic Health and Beauty Expo

Annual International Locks Conference

Philadelphia, PA — Bob Marley wrote and sung a song, “Get up, Stand Up” which encouraged people to be active in the pursuit of peace and justice. Fannie Lou Hammer also urged people to become active in the pursuit of justice by saying, “All my life I’ve been sick and tired. Now I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired” and “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”Assata Shakur echoed the call for unity and action by saying, “We can’t afford to be spectators while our lives deteriorate. We have to truly love our people and work to make that love stronger.

Minister Louis Farrakhan is calling for a march entitled Justice or Else, urging people to stand up and say enough is much too much. Freedom and justice are essential elements of an empowered people. More often than not that sense of empowerment and unity is ignited when like thinking people come together in unity. The Annual International Locks conference is such a place for a positive experience of coming together.

At the upcoming 21st Annual International Locks Conference: Natural Hair, Wholistic Health and Beauty Expo, attendees will have the opportunity to see and participate in a living example of self-determination, of the power of unity, networking, and buying black. The conference will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 3 and 4, 2015, each day from 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM, at the Universal Audenried Charter High School, 3301 Tasker Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19145.

Just imagine 21 years of serving the community; 21 years of exchanging great information; 21 years offering good and healthy food; 21 years of cultural fashions; 21 years of honoring our ancestors; 21 years of soulful drumming and thought-provoking spoken word; 21 years of greeting and meeting new and old friends; 21 years of building, supporting, and helping to start new black businesses; 21 years of celebrating natural hair, our heritage, and our beautiful loving black families; 21 years of jaw-dropping natural hairstyling; 21 years of learning wholistic approaches to wellness; 21 years of serving as a model of self-determination and promoting our cultural expression and connections; 21 years of raising consciousness; 21 years of presenting scholars; and 21 years of a spiritual high. In a time when the streets and news headlines are full of murder, grief, injustice, and police brutality, the 21st Annual International Locks Conference: Natural Hair, Wholistic Health and Beauty Expo offers a necessary and momentary break to allow folks in neighborhoods to breathe in the healing energy of love, unity, knowledge of self, and to regain strength and courage to keep fighting for justice and to be introduced to strategies and solutions to the ills that our communities nationwide are facing.

The Kuumba Family Organizing Committee chose “Black is STILL Beautiful: Say it Loud, Wear it Proud” for the theme of its Annual International Lock Conference: Natural Hair, Wholistic Health and Beauty Expo to celebrate the 21st year of producing a two-day event that is bigger than an Afro, much more than a fashion show and unique natural hairstyles, more than the selling of crafts and quality goods, more than the sharing of wholistic health services and eating good foods. The authentic and original Locks Conference has served as an example of what self-determination (doing for self) truly means, an awakening to new thought and actions. Doing for self is a communal concept and has grown into multiple natural hair shows around the country, more and more black people starting businesses, more folks examining their history, refining their sense of self, connecting to Aboriginal Indigenous and African culture, and returning to their natural selves. The 21st Annual International Lock Conference: Natural Hair, Wholistic Health and Beauty Expo is continuing the tradition of promoting the idea of building and supporting black businesses, honoring ancestors, and learning more about and unapologetically celebrating natural hair, cultural expressions, the strength of family, and good health. This much-anticipated national autumn opportunity for family gathering, spiritual renewal, and networking has always been held the first weekend in October.

The Locks Conference features two full days of informative workshops, panel discussions, leading experts from the natural hair care field, world-renowned scholars, authors, activists, and artists from a myriad of professions, live musical performances, martial arts demonstrations, soul line dancing, self-defense for women, live food demonstrations, children’s workshops, a Kuumba marketplace full of gifted craftspeople, talented vendors, service providers from around the country, a cultural fashion show, and a stunning natural hair show and competition. As special additions, the conference will also offer the opportunity to view the explosive film Full body Detox and to give tribute to the Justice or Else March.

By popular demand, the conference will again include a wholistic health, healing, and wellness pavilion offering a wide variety of demonstrations and services such as massage; reflexology; muscle testing; Reiki; sound, breath, and crystal healing; herbal remedies, and soul sweat /aquatic therapy. Furthermore, in keeping with the request for elevating consciousness, the Kuumba Family Organizing Committee is proud to announce the expansion of our popular Ida B. Wells authors’ corner at the Conference dedicated to literacy and domestic harmony. In addition to being available for inspiring discussions and book signings, many talented authors from across the country such as authors Dalani Aamon, Dr. Marimba Ani, Professor Griff, Professor Salim Haji Amir Ali, D’Jehuty Maat-Ra, Dr. Akosua Ali-Sabree; Dr. Ali Muhammad, Queen Mutima Imani, Ralph Muhammad, Heru Ofori Atta, wholistic health experts Dr. Akmal Muwwakkil, El HaGahn, Dr. Rafiq Abdul-Malik, Cherron Perry-Thomas and Dr. Dewey Thomas, Ras Ben, and Tanya Wright will also be presenting informative workshops during the conference.

There will also be Natural hair demonstrations by national celebrated hair stylist such as Isis Brantley, and the Loc Star king, Thando Kafele. Attendees will also have the opportunity also to enjoy an exciting Locks conference showcase featuring artists such as Urban Shaman, Rahnda Rise,
STROKE String Trio, Melissa Princess Best Speaks, Kaleidoscope Cultural Arts Collective, and Amun Re Hu Ptah.

The complete list of presenters and artists is impressive and longer than this space allows. The organizers acknowledge that although the conference is 21 years young, and it is still full of excitement, opportunities for growth, lots of shopping, and good food, all the ills in the world will not be solved at the event. However, the loving feeling, sense of unity, sharing and exchange of life affirming information will certainly add to attendees having a positive experience. The conference organizers are putting out two special calls. One call is for drummers of the African Diaspora far and near to come and participate in a drumming tribute for our fallen youth, a tribute to the ancestors and prayers for our warriors’ safety. We need to acknowledge that we are the people we have been waiting for and rise up the drum vibration that sends messages and speaks unapologetically to our spirits. There are No excuses for not standing up for freedom and justice. Support the organizations that provide community service, good examples of self-determination and empowerment.

The Annual International Locks Conference, a private, not-for-profit community educational and cultural event organized by the Kuumba Family Organizing Committee and the Hair-ITAGE Society, is also sponsored by Zuresh Natural products; Amadi Wellness Connection; the Money School; Ujima Press RC; Sweet Spot Desserts; Locs Socks; Nubian Essence; Akoma Ntosoa: United Hearts Cultural Academy; GMI Contractors; Zaki Associates, and media sponsor The Black Professional newspaper. A small donation is requested. Mark your calendar and make a plan to attend the conference which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 3 and 4, 2015, each day — 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM, at the Universal Audenried Charter High School, 3301 Tasker Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19145.

For more information, to volunteer, or to register for our annual hair show and competition, visit the web site: www.Locksconference.com or email: info@LocksConference.com or contact the Kuumba Family Organizing Committee at 1-888-305-3186


MaMa Akosua Ali.Sabree @ 215-438-8189/
Sakinah Ali.Sabree @ 267-259-8400