ST. PAUL, Minn.
- Sept. 3, 2021
-- Dr. Artika Tyner, founder of the non-profit organization, Planting People Growing Justice™ Leadership Institute (PPGJLI), held a Leadership Summit in Senchi Ferry, Ghana, during the summer. The event was sponsored by the PPGJLI and hosted by Nana Boadu, Chair of the Ghana Scholarship Fund (GSF) in Ghana.
The Leadership Summit is an annual event held in partnership with the GSF. The PPGJLI didn't host the Summit in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the Summit, youth were provided with leadership development tools, resources, and children's books. "Dr. T" as she's known there, meets with students to inspire, support, guide, and encourage them, including those that applied for a scholarship for the fall of 2021.
"Our organization uses an arts and humanities-based approach with a focus on cultural history and preservation,"
said Tyner. "Our goal is to build connections across the African Diaspora. This informs our work in promoting reading and diversity in books."
A number of authors donated books to the Senchi Ferry Library during the Summit that highlight Black authors and characters. They include "Cameron Goes to School" by Sheletta Brundidge; "Samspiration"
by Samuel Jacobs; "I Know I Can!" by Veronica Chapman; "Cannon's Crash Course" by Mon Trice; and other Black authors.
Tyner has donated several of her own books, many of which are award winners, including "Amazing Africa: A to Z," "Kofi Loves Music," and "Justice Makes a Difference: The Story of Miss Freedom Fighter, Esq." The organization also supports young authors through its Youth Writing Competition Program. The 2021 competition winner was Zephaniah Martin for his book "Jaheem's First Kwanzaa." They're all available at the PPGJLI bookstore (https://planting-people-growing-justice-leadership-instit...
Tyner has traveled to Ghana many times. The PPGJLI's founder hosted Back to My Roots Sankofa trips to Ghana in 2018 and 2019. The 2019 pilgrimage was in honor of The Year of the Return that marked the 400th
anniversary of when the first African slave ships arrived in the U.S. in 1619 as part of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.