We are the men of the MAAFA Redemption Project. We recognize that we cannot redeem our families and communities until we first redeem ourselves. Therefore, our mission is to invest in the mind, body and spirit so that we may repair and rebuild our city, one life at a time.
What we do
The MAAFA Redemption Project is a faith-based residential institute for at-risk emerging adult men of color (ages 18-30) located in West Garfield Park, a neighborhood with one of the lowest life expectancies in Chicago. It offers dormitory-style residential support, workforce training, character/spiritual-development, and a host of wrap-around social services. MAAFA’s mission is to significantly improve the quality of life for high-risk young men of color and their families. With its unique direct-service and community-building approach, MAAFA aims to drive the community’s redevelopment plan. To accomplish this mission, MAAFA implements a multi-pronged approach: gun violence prevention/mediation, leadership development, and community outreach.
What does MAAFA mean?
The name of the initiative, MAAFA, comes from the Kiswahili word meaning “calamity” or “disaster.” It typically refers to the transatlantic slave trade and Middle Passage.
The MAAFA stained-glass window at New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church is the largest iconic display of the Middle Passage in the world. The central image depicts a chained Black Christ whose body contains the well-known “Brooks” broadside; a graphic of ‘tight-packed’ enslaved Africans in a slave ship. Though chained, the body's head is tilted upward; rising toward redemption.