Rites of Passage

The Rites of Passage, sponsored by Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Minneapolis Chapter, is proud to celebrate its 22nd year of  developing talented young men of African descent for leadership and service.

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©2020 Rites of Passage, sponsored by Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Minneapolis Chapter  

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What Is Jack and Jill ?  Jack and Jill of America, Inc. is a national membership organization of mothers with children ages 2 – 19.  They are dedicated to nurturing future African American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty.  The organization was founded in 1938 and today boasts 245 chapters across the United States.   Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Minneapolis Chapter was founded in 1952 and has been a pillar of Twin Cities’ African American civic and family life for more than half a century.

What is Rites of Passage ?  

Rites of Passage is a leadership acceleration experience for Twin Cities high achieving male high school seniors of African descent.  It is an experiential, mentor enhanced program that helps young boys transition to manhood through focus on self knowledge, achievement and leadership in ways unique to the Initiates' African heritage.

What do the letters ROP stand for?

ROP stands for Rites of Passage.

What are the participation dates for the 2020 class?

ROP final Information Session is set for 18 August 2019 with the application deadline scheduled for 31 August 2019.  The 2020 ROP experience begins in mid September and ends in early March.  Space is limited.  Apply online or see Shanequa Williams at shanequajwilliams@gmail.com for recruiting details.

Does Rites of Passage have a religious or fraternal affiliation? 

No, Rites of Passage neither ascribes to a religious dogma, nor is connected with a fraternal organization.  Boys that meet the requirements from all faiths or no faiths are encouraged to apply.  The only affiliation Rites of Passage has is the sponsorship connection with Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Minneapolis Chapter. 

Does your family have to be a member of Jack and Jill to participate?

No.  Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Minneapolis Chapter has been the sole sponsor of Rites of Passage for 21 years.  Boys from across the Twin Cities who meet the requirements are encouraged to apply.

How would I know if my child is safe around adult mentors?

All adult mentors go through an application process and must clear a background check before being approved as mentors.  Many ROP mentors have been with the program multiple years, have a deep understanding of effective mentoring practices and how to provide guidance to the Initiates through their journey.

How will parents know what to do?

Once your child receives his acceptance notification, the parents and the child will be invited to an ROP Orientation session.  The session is designed to offer the parents/guardians and Initiates all the necessary participation information.

How are parents involved?

The program is focused on the boys and their journey.   Parents will receive periodic updates and more specific updates as the program converges on the Community Celebration.  At some points, parents may be asked to participate in certain social or media interactions including interviews, testimonials, etc.

Does my child have to raise money?

Yes.  As part of the Requirements for Participation, each Initiate has to commit to raise a certain amount of money.  ROP believes the practice of fundraising is a critical skill and the Initiates need to have skin in the game to keep the program at a high level.  The raised funds have specific uses including donation to a charity of choice, and program cost offsets.

Do you have a social media policy?

Yes.  We ask Initiates not to post anything to their social media outlets about their ROP experience during the ROP "season."   The information, access to leaders and overall experience is meant to be unique to the Initiates and not for public consumption.  Rites of Passage does maintain a private Facebook group intended to be a digital community for ROP alumni and mentors only.