February 21: Rekhet Si-Asar
Rekhet Si-Asar is a school psychologist. Her focus is not just assessing children but using culture, and exploration to engage them and prepare them to identify their own strengths to be successful in school and life. As the daughter of an artist and woodcarver, she inherited artistic skills and later honed these skills at the High School of Art and Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Much of her work has culminated in what might look like community activism, but to her, serves as her daily contribution to her community and the world. She has assisted with educating children on ways to solve their own problems and begin to heal themselves through the use of science, art, and culture. Her current work includes creating spaces where the collecting, sharing, documenting and archiving of the stories of people of African descent to help humanize and make visible their existence here in Minnesota and the world.
- What inspires you to do the work you do in your community?
I am inspired first and foremost by my ancestors, and all those who have passed on, that have laid the groundwork through their struggles for equity, freedom, and humane existence. I am equally inspired by my elders’ unwavering commitment to our community. People like Mary K. Boyd, Mahmoud El-Kati, Josie Johnson, Atum and Ahmed Azzahir, Katie Sample, W.C. Jordan, Naima Richmond, Henry Banks, Marvin R. Anderson, Thelma Buckner, Nick and Vickie Khaliq, and countless others across the state, and the globe who continue to struggle for truth, justice, order, balance, propriety, harmony, and reciprocity.
I am also inspired by the young people, as I witness their growth, development, and the manifestation of their brilliance and their magic in the ways they stand up and hold people and systems accountable.
Lastly, my desire to create a clear vision through the action of truth-telling by sharing our own experience and stories; and, by providing access to youth, elders, novices and veterans to spaces where they can reach beyond the artificial limits set to become scholars, writers, activists, healers, etc. - this is what is morally satisfying to my soul.
- What part of this work for your community are you are most proud of?
I am proud to see our young people and elders writing their own stories with confidence and sharing their own narratives. I am proud to see them explore their creativity, acknowledge their own skill sets, and validate themselves. We hope to start a movement of those who express interest in editing, laying out, and illustrating their own stories. I am proud to see others from outside of our cultural community find value in learning more about who we are and attempt to read and support our work. I am also very proud of the hundreds of young people I have had the opportunity to work with through the Imhotep Science Academy program over the past 20-plus years.
- Anything else you would like to share?
When we fail to see our neighbors, colleagues, and fellow citizens, we in essence diminish their existence in our world. I occupy many positions in my community and interact with many people in my ethnic and outside of my ethnic community. It is a conscious choice for me to fully see all those I interact with or simply cross paths with. As social beings when we make each other invisible it is a cruel way to make that person or people irrelevant. I am a sister to many, biological and otherwise; the daughter to my parents and all those elders who have taken me in as a child for them to look out for, fight on behalf of, guide, help, and nurture; a mother to my children and all others in my care temporarily or other; and a wife to a wonderful man.