Changemakers – June 2020

It was over 400 years ago that Ghana was invaded and many of its people were taken from their homes and shipped away. It’s coastline still has the remnants of this horrific time, most noticeably with its slave castles. The tours of these buildings are emotionally heavy. They display the shackles that bound the prisoners and they take you to the dungeons where slaves were held before their departure for the “new world.” 

Ghana was the hub for the slave trade and its slave castles are now United Nations world heritage sites. 

While slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865, Roberta Timothy, an assistant professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, says the generational impact still lives on today.

“When you’re trying to understand the impact of transatlantic slavery or African enslavement and colonization … it is the beginnings of anti-Black racism.”*

I can’t help but think about slavery, and the roots of prejudice, with all that is going on in our country right now. Universal anger about the way our Black community is treated and the demand to change it is long overdue. 

My dear friend, and Framework strategic partner Kofi, felt a certain kind of “fear” when he visited the United States for the first time to attend my wedding. Kofi was unsure where he could be safe as a tourist alone in our city of Portland … because he is Black. He didn’t get to America and recognize that fear, he came here with that mindset. Globally, others see our prejudice, yet many here can’t.

Kofi visited America for the first time to attend Seth’s wedding. Pictured here with Grace (bride), Seth, Kofi, Tricia and Joel (FI board member).

Ghana has been a “free” country for 63 years. And do you know what they’ve grown to be so proud of? It’s peace. They have won African praise as being an “oasis of peace.”** To them, peace is a sign of strength – a philosophy that governs their democracy. A lot of African countries don’t have that same kind of safety. But this is who Ghana is. They are joyful people, peacefully coexisting amid their differences and enthusiastic for their future. There is no fear in peace.

I take immeasurable pride in the work that Framework International does in Ghana. And you should too. 

Not only was slavery horrible for the people who were taken, it was economically devastating for the African nations that missed out on their renaissance. It was all about slavery, for all of those years.

I know that education is the great equalizer, as it is the key to opportunity and change. It is the same for us here, as it is for those in Ghana. And now, more than ever before, we need to be educated to change.

Ghana’s renaissance is long overdue. But, by supporting its educational system by building or renovating its schools, we are truly empowering the lives of its children … as education will get them there. 

Thank you for your partnership. And thank you for joining us in helping Ghanaian children have a school building in their village in which they can learn … be challenged … and be the changemakers of their country’s future.

Yours in empowering Ghana’s youth,

Seth Prickett

Framework Founder and Board Chair


P.S. *Link to article cited – there’s a good video produced by Global News Canada on the “400 years after the transatlantic slave trade.” 

P.S.S. Your donations, whatever the amount, make a HUGE impact in the villages in which we build or renovate a school. THANK YOU for your ongoing and generous financial support of Framework International!