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Rites of Passage Name Changing Ceremony

On January 11, 2020, seven men received their new Kalonji names at our Rites of Passage Name Changing Ceremony. The Trinity House-Big Bethel Name Changing Ceremony is one of our most historic events we do here at Trinity Community Ministries. Founded by brother Zakee, the Kalonji Name Changing Ceremony is a sacred event that embodies the real meaning of a "Man of Victory.

Candidates who are chosen to receive a Kalonji name change are upcoming graduates, alumni, red shirts and black shirts. When told about the event they then meet with our Lead Case Manager Ali Wilson to discuss the Name Changing journey. The candidates who are recipients of the ceremony then go through a 7-Day process to prepare them for what's to come.

They must:

1. Shave their heads

2. Refrain from cursing

3. No sweets, pork, or beef

4. Watch Sankofa, the movie

5. March down to the Martin Luther King Center

6. Refrain from Social Media

On the day of the Name Changing Ceremony, the men wear all white, and sit with the case manager and alumni to discuss what having a Kalonji name means. Afterward, they are blindfolded, lined up shortest to tallest and with their brother's direction they walk down the stairs to the chapel.

Once seated, they can take off their blindfolds and the ceremony begins. Following the welcome address we poor libations (water) into a plant to celebrate our ancestors who bought us here. Then the life cycle begins were each resident will taste a form of spice, sugar, or beverage that symbolized their journey. Once the life cycle begins, recipients each receive their new Kalonji Name. Each Kalonji name represents their personality, struggle, and triumph.

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