By Damion Smalls
Launched in 2015, the Afrikan Konciousness Koalition was created in the aftermath of the Mother Emanuel AME Church shootings. “A light bulb went off in my head,” says Candace Pringle, the group’s manager. Promoting unity, ownership and prosperity within the Black community, the Afrikan Konciousness Koalition fosters support through partnerships, workshops, lectures, and various other engagement activities. That light bulb has manifested itself into the Afrikan Konciousness Koalition Festival, now in its fourth year.
Pringle is also the founder of Black business collective the Progressive Initiative and local Black business directory SC Buy Black Locally. With the Afrikan Konciousness Koalition Festival, Pringle hopes to reach local Black youth with positivity, entertainment, education, and empathy. They will bear witness to the proliferation of Black businesses, consumers, movers & shakers, and the many fruitful opportunities to be take advantage of in the present and future in our area. The theme of this year’s event is “Driving Community Solidarity”.
The festival will be held Saturday, October 27 from 2pm to 6pm. The family-friendly event will include jump castles, music courtesy of DJ Kween Katt, the Smalls Time Catering food truck, face painting by Brushed Designs by E. Ashley, horseback riding, games and much more.
Speakers will include entrepreneur extraordinaire Kimberly Bowman, spiritual life coach Brittany Denise Pope, Sacred Roots owner Khet Waas Hutip, and 3rd Eye Lounge owner and spiritual counselor Ikeoma Devine. Several topics of discussion will be the Afrikan Diaspora, health & wellness, empowerment, Halloween, and enterprise.
The Festival features a cavalcade of local vendors. Businesses such as Always Gift Baskets & Natural Essentials, Kimmy’s Lane, Chef TR Creations LLC, Copper Cohens, Luminous Lamps by Zai, and more will all take part and have products for sale. Interested vendors and sponsors can email firstname.lastname@example.org to become involved.
Proceeds of the event will benefit Love and Helping Hands Spiritual Center, which is also the host venue of the Afrikan Konciousness Koalition Festival. The nonprofit is located at 1347 Old U.S. 52 in Moncks Corner. The center is a religious organization that values fellowship, healing and service. This fall, Love and Helping Hands has added to its list of features to be a sanctuary for homeschooled students to gather and maintain the social camaraderie of interacting with peers. With its newly installed WiFi internet access, students can complete assignments on site and further learn at their leisure. Donations can be made online at https://squareup.com/store/lahhsc.
As a special treat for Halloween, children are encouraged to wear their costumes and participate in “trunk or treat”. They will be allowed to pick treats from decorated trunks provided by guests that celebrate Black historians.
“Come with an open mind, come ready to learn. We’re here to enlighten and create space for our people while bringing the community together,” says Pringle. Call 843-312-5518 for more information. Attendees may register for this free event on Eventbrite.