Princess Conneitt picks fresh cherries from the tree at the Brownsville farm. Photo by Russell Frederick.

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The fifth day of Kwanzaa, celebrated this year on Wednesday, December 30, recognizes Nia or “purpose,” which focuses on building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. On this day, each family member should examine his/her ability to put his/her skill or talent to use In the service of the family and community at large. Take time to reflect on your expectations from life: discuss your desires and hopes with family and friends. On this day you should try to determine if this purpose will eventually result in positive achievements for family and community. The Nia principle asks each person to be services or mission-driven on the behalf of their family, school, and community. The core concept and practice of the value purpose is service. Service to others, family school, community and the nation is what defines who we are and our possibilities for developing communities that provide the context for families and children to thrive and flourish. Each member of the family, school, or community is asked to examine his/her skills or talents and determine how he/she will put forth those skills or talents in the service of the family, school, or community. Nia: “To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.” Brownsville urban farmer Brenda Dushane uses her skills in the garden to grow fresh fruit and vegetables and teach young people to do the same in a community short on fresh supplies. Her use of her skill is a great example of Nia. Take a look at this story on BK Reader on how Dushane has influenced a number of folks in Brownsville, young and old, to choose fresh, healthy options over the fast-food all too common in the neighborhood’s main thoroughfares. Today, let’s all find ways to make choices with purpose!

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