Counterculture Week kicks off Monday at 8 p.m. and will run until Sunday. The week in Durham features in-person and virtual events, including a fashion show – all hosted and organized by different local small businesses and organizations.
The week focuses on encouraging humanity and normalizing kindness – being a part of the counterculture movement.
Counterculture Week is part of an initiative created by Good Steward Apparel called United Front Worldwide. The original counterculture movement dates back to the early 1960s, and its supporters sought out happier and more peaceful lives. Similar to the original movement, the UFW's pledge involves practicing love, grace and mercy and standing up for those facing mistreatment and inhumanity in society.
Al Howard, CEO of Good Steward Apparel, said each day's events will focus on a different value of Kwanzaa. "Kwanzaa 365" will be the overarching theme for the week.
Monday will follow the principle of “Umoja”, which means unity in Swahili. There will be a media event located at American Underground and a discussion by The Counterculture Show, a podcast hosted by Howard.
Greear Webb, a member of UFW and a rising senior at UNC, will be a guest speaker on Monday's installment of The Counterculture Show.
Webb said he and Howard have been working together to expand UFW, which is a multi-organizational collaboration that seeks to unite communities and businesses as a front in fighting a culture of inhumanity.
“Our vision is to build a community here in North Carolina, across the United States and really across the world,” Webb said.
He added that Counterculture Week aims to bring awareness to how modern culture has made inhumanity mainstream.
Webb said the event seeks to put local leaders and businesses, specifically those from historically marginalized communities, in the spotlight.
On Tuesday, The Counterculture Show will hold another conversation located at Rival’s Barbershop. “Kujichagulia”, or self-determination in Swahili, is the principle of the day.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday also feature discussions hosted by different productions, including the Brother empowerMENt Show and Nu Vizion TeleVizion. “Ujima,” “Ujamaa” and “Nia,” which respectively mean collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics and purpose in Swahili, are the values of each of these days.
The Counterculture Fashion Show will be held on Saturday, following the principle of “Kuumba,” or creativity, at the Sh’Bella Dreamz Recreation Center in Durham from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Kimberly Winborne, the founder of Kimberly Winborne LLC, said The Counterculture Show is hosted through her media company, Coffee and Collaborations Media.
She said she will be the fashion show’s host, which involves interviewing members of the talent and the audience.
“How the fashion show relates is that it’s taking that principle of creativity and using it to share that creativity is a tool and a way to bring people to get together,” Winborne said. “It’s a way of healing and expression, for me.”
Sunday, using “Imani” or “faith” as its principle, features a final virtual conversation hosted by The Counterculture Show.
Howard said he wants people to attend the in-person and virtual events because he wants them to be a part of the conversation.
“One of the things that I’ve seen that we share, throughout all of our communities, pretty much everyone sees something wrong with where we are,” he said. "Whether it be violence, whether it be drugs, whether it be whatever it is — everyone has an issue with something. The connective tissue is us.”
He said humanity is defined by its ability to show kindness. The more mainstream shame and cruelty become, the more people become humans without humanity.
Howard said his goal is to get society back to eradicating inhumanity and normalizing kindness.
Winborne said she is excited for Howard, Good Steward Apparel, the UFW and Counterculture Week because it represents something she believes is even greater than the visionary.
“If everybody rallies together and shares and supports it, I think it should be something that we’ll remember and hopefully will actually act out in our lives: the principles and the pledge that Al is asking everybody to take and the community is coming together to support,” she said.
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