I am Azmera Hammouri-Davis and I am honored to serve as your Africana Spirituality Advisor for the Africana Chaplaincy. Rooted in our rich legacy -- past, present and future -- it is a blessing to serve all who are exploring and interested in Africana Spiritual life and traditions.
The Africana Chaplaincy acknowledges and welcomes all ways of being and knowing that are practiced by the African diaspora beit Santeria, Ifa, Candomble, Voodoo, Yoruba, Akom, Diagara, N'golo (among many others) as well as Abrahamic religions. Here we offer religious and philosophical programming and mentorship that supports the social-emotional and spiritual needs of our ever-growing and expansive community. I work in close partnership with the Africana Center and University Chaplaincy to provide spiritual care and counsel. A continual student of life, as you navigate the uncertainties -- ebbs and flows -- of your journey, I understand that spiritual direction and guidance are crucial aspects to the overall development of the human being.
My introduction to Africana Spirituality came as a child, imbued in the Afro-Carribean tradition of Rastafari, the Afro-American tradition of Kwanzaa, and the Afro-Brasilian tradition of Capoeira. My college years were shaped by the USC Saved by Grace Gospel Choir, Intervarsity, and non-denominational Christianity. Prior to completing my Masters of Theological Studies in African/American Religions at Harvard, I lived in Salvador Bahia, Brasil where I studied Afro-indigenous origins of Capoeira in the grass-roots community. Before finishing my program I also completed learning-in-context courses on religious pluralism through an Africana lens while in Palestine/Israel. These experiences in particular inform my practice, and make me eager to know you in your fullness, curiosity, and complexity. I welcome you, wherever you are on your journey to learn and grow with us.
Below are some grounding principles that guide our exploration:
1) We honor our ancestors
2) We orient ourselves in reverence for the Divine manifested in nature
3) We celebrate the beauty and bounty of life in our rituals, songs and dance
I leave you with words from Dagara elder and spiritual leader Sobonfu Some: "You are here for a reason. You are a well, healthy, powerful being who has chosen to bring something unique unto this world."