Skip to main content


Sankofa: Looking Back for Applying Green and Restorative Practices to Community Development

Executive Director of the Center for Urban Transformation, Orrin Williams, examines the meaning of sankofa, which can be translated as "it is not bad to go back for that which you have forgotten" or "looking back to move forward." Williams uses the concept as the framework for applying African cultural and spiritual antecedents to community and economic development initiatives. Those cultural and spiritual antecedents are grounded in reverence and respect for our ecological support systems that all beings rely upon for life. Williams argues that those antecedents have been transmitted to and have survived throughout the diaspora and will be useful as we forge a future that respects all life.

Recorded Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at DePaul University.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.