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Rites of Passage & The New Millineum: Are they obsolete or an absolute?

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Shawnee Benton

Shawnee Benton

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For thousands of years, people and cultures from around the world have used specific rituals to mark and prepare their people for times of major life changes and/or crisis. These significant moments in a person’s life are called Rites of Passage and can be physiological, social and/or spiritual in nature. Rites of passage are transitions from one important stage of development to another, that occur during a person’s lifetime and are generally emotionally and psychologically charged. The preparation for, and reaction to, these major transitions can determine an individuals future stability and success as they navigate life. Most cultures consider the important transitions to be birth, the onset of puberty, marriage, life threatening illness, injury, and death. In modern, large-scale socities, graduations from school, divorce from a spouse, and retirement at the end of a career are major transitions. Tonight's show will introduce and explore the power and importance of structured Rites of Passage and the impact that the loss or diminishment of these sacred rituals have had on, so-called modern society. Our young people and adults adequately prepared to navigate the complexities of life in a modern age? Has the dismissal of the "old ways" created a chasm in our communities that cannot be filled or is there no longer a need for structured and progressive rituals of guidance and preparation? Join host, Shawnee Benton-Gibson, and a panel of powerful experts, Camille Brown-Holder, writer and director of the independent film, "A Period Piece"; Monica Dennis, community organizer, youth professional and motivational speaker and Hakikah Shamsiden, writer, healer, spiritual advisor and advocate, as they answer these important questions and many more.

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