Every Wednesday morning, we start the day with a school-wide gathering called Harambee. The name, which means “all pull together” in Swahili, comes from a Kenyan tradition of communally lifting each other up. At Bunche, the Harambee gatherings are an important part of our culture. The program begins with a warm breakfast, freshly prepared by Chef Isenberg and students from the culinary class, and continues with announcements, guest speakers, public recognitions and appreciations, breathing exercises, and the collective recital of the poem “In Lak’ech” by Luis Valdez.
Central to Harambee is the Offering, in which a guest from the broader community presents a literary selection of their choosing. The offering might be a poem, a song, a speech, a story, or any other form of writing. It might be an original work or a piece by someone else that has served as inspiration. Regardless of the text itself, the purpose is to create an atmosphere in which literacy and sharing are highly valued.
Through Harambee, we aim to strengthen the bonds within the Bunche community as well as forge new links between our small school and the abundant brilliance that permeates the surrounding Bay Area.
If you (or someone you know) want to share a piece of text that might inspire Oakland youth, please contact us. We are always looking for poets, parents, leaders, writers, nurses, musicians, lawyers, dancers, caregivers, actors, businesspeople, painters, educators, athletes, doctors, graf writers, organizers, photographers, activists, and anyone else with the urge to be a part of strengthening our community.