Shafik Asante – Circles & Networks that Nurtured Change

Shafik Asante


Photo of Shafik Asante


Shafik Asante was a remarkable African American civil rights organizer. He was part of our Inclusion Team at Summer Institutes in both McGill and Toronto.

His book and videos are tribute to resilience, resistance and relentless commitment to life. Although cancer took Shafik in 1997, he lives on, and you can join his vision even ow. We did not ‘invite Shafik in” because as he wisely pointed out, HE WAS BORN IN!.

Shafik Asante was born and raised in the city of Philadelphia. As the founder of the New African Voices Alliance, Shafik brought together African American community organizers to fight against the many injustices prevalent in the African American community.

As director of COMMUNITY AWARENESS NETWORK, Shafik worked with diverse cultures uniting them in struggles for better community services. Shafik received numerous awards for community organizing and being an outstanding community leader. Shafik gained national and international recognition as both an article writer and presenter. He was an affiliate of the California based Tools for Change and the Canadian-based Center for Integrated Education and Inclusion. Shafik advocated for people with “unrecognized abilities” as well as other diverse groups often excluded from society.

For those of us privileged to have worked with Shafik, his wisdom and inspiration will carry on. His “leading ideas” will continue to lead. Who can forget “airplanism”, “colorism”, “unlearning and relearning”, “alliance building”, “quilted circles”, “villaging” and his enduring capacity to help each and all of us to learn to just live together.


It Takes A Whole Village
A beautiful reminder rose out of Africa thousands of years ago. The reminder was that “It takes a whole village to raise a child”. But what exactly is
”villaging”? And how could anyone debate the need for villaging?
What is Villaging?
I am a villager, and I am part of a village in Philadelphia. Simply put, villaging means realizing that People Need People. I was raised believing that there is nothing more successful in life than in serving others. Villaging is rooted in the under­standing that people should be supportive of one· another all the time when such support is needed, or requested. In fact, there is really not very much that people can do by themselves. Villaging is accepting that “together we are better”.

Shafik Asante – Videos

Shafik Asante & Shina Ahad – a Tribute to their work (video)

Shafik Asante and Judith Snow – at McGill Summer Institute – (early 1990’s) (video)