Help AfroPlayOakland Grow
Afro-Play NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT❣️
We have a goal of raising $50,000 to grow our programming!
In order to achieve this goal we need your help!
We are asking for your help in three ways:
✨GIVE: You can support our campaign right now with a donation, nothing is too small and EVERYTHING is appreciated.
✨SHARE: Please share our messages on social media. You never know who knows who!
Facebook and Instagram
✨RECOMMEND: Will you share personally with someone in your village about why you support Afro-Play and recommend they join you in supporting us?
Your support is deeply appreciated, Asé!
What is Afro-Play? Afro-Play exists to Harambee - a Swahili term meaning “All pull together”. It is our mission to achieve oneness and healing among all Black families in the African Diaspora. “It takes a whole village to raise a child” Afro-Play provides a sacred, supportive intergenerational gathering space for the healing, growth and the socialization of both black children and black parents/caregivers. We strive to help build and maintain authentic relationships organically between families through fun, thoughtful and educational curriculum themes surrounded in Afrocentricity. We honor the Black experience. Our goal is to enlighten and empower Black families as one people. We do this through Afro specific cultural curriculum planning for family playgroups, family workshops & event planning as well as Black Parent Engagement activities.
The seven principles of Kwanzaa are embedded into the program Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith). Curriculum is structured for a dual generation; all activities are for both child and parents to benefit and engage in. Our families benefit from the playgroups model by pulling together, sharing testimonials, cultivating peer-to-peer resources, celebrating Black Joy through art & music, community building and educating their children in the most culturally responsive setting.
“Sawubona” – Zulu tribe greeting. Translates to “I see you, you are important to me and I value you”
Who created AfroPlay? Well, that’s us, "Sister Ellen" & "Sister Ajhana".
Ellen D. Hamilton is the Co-Founder and Creative Operations Director for Afro-Play Family Consulting. A wife and mother to four young children, a Deep East Oakland native and natural community leader. Her background stems from being a singer and non-profit arts organization HR/Finance Manager. In 2018, along with two other Oakland native parents; fully pregnant with her 4th child, Ellen developed Afro-Play as a 9-week pilot-session program under Lotus Bloom Family Resource Center which serves Deep East Oakland’s Castlemont neighborhood at Room to Bloom Family Resource Center. The program was a success and since has thrived under Lotus Bloom’s incubation, serving families identifying under the African Diaspora. Ellen takes extreme pride in Oakland and connecting Black Oakland Families together. She loves planting seeds of creativity, hope, love and light into the lives of young growing Oaklanders. Her vision is to one day grow Afro-Play into its own Family Resource Center in the heartbeat of Oakland – East Oakland.
Ajhana DeRamous is the Co-Founder and Black Family Resource Director for Afro-Play. A wife and mother of one with roots in Oakland. She is passionate about her community and working together in culturally responsive ways to ensure equity for Black families and healing around maternal health. In 2018, along with two other Oakland native parents; Ajhana developed Afro-Play as a 9-week pilot-session program under Lotus Bloom Family Resource Center which services Deep East Oakland’s Castlemont neighborhood at Room to Bloom Family Resource Center. The program was gratefully received by the community and Ajhana was offered a teacher position for multicultural and developmental playgroups as well. Her vision is to continue to grow Afro-Play into its own Black Family Resource Center with a hub in East Oakland while offering its magic throughout the diaspora.
What does Afro-Play look like?
✨ Click Here
Who utilizes Afro-Play programming?
"It is truly my pleasure to write this letter of appreciation and gratitude on behalf of Afro Play Oakland and its wonderful leaders and teachers. My son and I learned about Afroplay from my sister Angel. My sister was greeted by the beautiful and warm spirited sister Ellen one day out in the community. She shared about Afro Play in a way that was exciting and inviting. My sister then shared with me with the same excitement and this peeked my interest and I became curious and wanted to know what the “Afrocentric Play group” was all about! My son Ezreal and I attended for the first time and we fell in love as a result of our experience. We were greeted with smiles and information. We were received in love and reverence! We experience an abundance of joy and celebration of culture. We were unified in rhythm and rhyme. We were free to be free! We were free to embrace all of who and that which we are individually and collectively. When we depart for the day, we say farewell, parting with resources, tools, as well as new and growing friendships/relationship.
In the midst of all the fun, reading, singing, and dancing our babies are learning, sharing, and laughing together in a safe environment. We get to see our babies thrive and interact in a fun loving and supportive environment. An environment structured so well and ensures our children’s growth and development in all capacities. Our Beautiful Afro Children are inspired through many modalities: Intellectually, physically, socially, and culturally to name a few. Intellectually through African American/Afrocentric literature, song and poetry. Physically through dance, hip-hop, creative movement, and outdoor play. And to highlight “Hugs, High fives, Harambee!” Socially and Culturally through Afrocentric traditions, shared best practices, cultural acknowledgement and expression, storytelling, and learning from a host of community leaders, artist, teachers, parents and caregivers alike!
Afro Play is a rare and unique jewel nestled in the HOOD of Oakland. A program that works, a program that embraces the whole child. A program that Unifies. A program that is represented professionally and culturally. A program that is cost effective and resourceful, and a program that has two dynamic leaders/teachers: Sister Ellen and Sister Ajhana. They all flow well together which fosters a well organized flow. They have a delightful, loving, and authentic approach that is appreciated. My son and I enjoy ourselves every time we attend and look forward to creating and experiencing many more great memories with our Afroplay/Afrocentric families. Shout out to all the parents and children who attend Afroplay; you are LOVED and you MATTER!"
-Nicole Bratton, Afro-Play Participant
Interested in learning more about AfroPlay?
✨ Please Check Us Out Here ✨
What we need funds for?
❤️General Office Supplies
❤️State/County Filing Fees
❤️Merchandise for ongoing fundraising efforts