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Aina-Nia Ayo’dele Addresses the Community Plenary

Aina-Nia Ayo’dele addressed the Community Plenary at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, USA.

Good morning! Good morning! Great morning! Will you share a cup of bread with me? Yeah? Take a nice deep gentle inhale for me and another breath and one more cycle of that inhale and exhale just because we can. Highest honor to Elo du Maurier, the Creator of Heavens and Earth, Elo du Maurier, Creator, all the names that we call God. I am your daughter, Aina-Nia Ayo’dele and I’m here with your children from across the world, at this Parliament of World’s Religion, surround us today with your love.

We give thanks for the Four Directions, for the energies of the South, the West, the North, and the East. Thank you Mother Earth and the mothers of the water for continuing to sustain us in spite of centuries of dishonor to you. We are grateful to the sea animals and the two-legged animals and the four-legged animals and the crawling beings and the water beings and the earth beings and the sky beings. We’re grateful to Father Sky. Thank you. Deep appreciation to humankind and for the many opportunities that we have to evolve and be better and better and better and better in each moment.

For all the natural elements of the earth, I say thank you. Eledumare, I offer prayers today during this Emancipation Month for people of African descent by pouring liberation and thanksgiving. I pour liberation for the over 12.5 million Africans who were captured and taken from our land and our practices taken from us. I pour liberation for the 2 million who didn’t survive the crossing of the Middle Passage. I pour liberation for the 10.2 million who were sold into the Americas and the 333,000, just an estimate, that settled in North America. And so I pour liberation. I invite you to call the names of your ancestors so we can invite their presence and their spirit into this room and for the rest of the Parliament.

Thank you. And ancestors, if we haven’t called your name, it’s not because we dishonor you, but your name may not be present on our lips at this time. Know that we honor you. Divine spirits rain down in our communities as we take committed actions for freedom and human rights. 

May our minds and our hearts and our bodies and our emotions remember our natural selves as we have been taught by our ancestors by traditional practices such as Ifa.

May we remember to honor our spirits, honor the ancestors, honor children, honor our elders before all things.

May we embrace community as a central place of belonging. May we make choices for ours not mine.

May we call for the ancestral rituals for united success because we know that rituals guarantee success. May we care for our temporal and spiritual capacities for inner alignment.

Bring to our remembering our purpose. For each of us has come to this planet with a specific path and that path helps us to steward natural elements. And so give us the wisdom, give us the strength to take care of this planet as we take care of ourselves. Spirits, spirits of our ancestors, help us for consistent and vigilant actions for change and view us today with overflowing joy and happiness because you told us it is our birthright bless us this day in all of our actions in all of our work may we love each other in our differences may we love each other in our missteps may we love each other in our choices and honor our with each other’s journey may we love always and in all ways ourselves so we can love each other and so it is so I say amen and amen.

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