The Rites of Passage program, co-developed by Oriki Theater and the Brothers of Eta Sigma Lambda, is a manhood training program that presents African American boys a clear path to manhood through a multi-layered approach that involves: coaching, mentoring, leadership development and life skills activities. The program is anchored on eight principles borrowed from traditional African ceremonies, namely: Love for self and others, Respect for self and others, Honor for all that God has made, Strength to Soar above distractions, Wisdom to know what is right, Courage to stand up for what is right, Patience to take your turn and Pride in who you are.

Bro. Harris Ginyard and Wilbur Jackson serve on the program board of directors. Many brothers volunteer their time and expertise as workshop facilitators and individual mentors. Additionally, the brothers of Epsilon Mu and Nu Sigma add their special perspective through campus visits, one-on-one mentoring, and delivery of Project Alpha.


Rites of Passage


Oriki Theater

What We Did

Youth Development Program for African Americans

How The Project Was Received

Just a quick moment to tell you again, that there is a difference in the kid I brought last year and the one I live with now. He is more focused on his goals now and seems determined to do better in most all aspects of his daily life. Sometimes he requires a reminder, but the attitude is gone and there is more maturity there. Thank you for making a difference in his life.

Ms. GParent, Class of 2009

These are my brothers I grew up without a father and now I have a new family of brothers to support me on my journey.

RWClass of 2011

A lot of my friends at school say I’ve changed a lot, they say I’ve become more mature.

AGClass of 2007

My views changed in life. I had more pride during the weeks I was here. I have become wiser in more situations.

CGClass of 2005