NorcalMLK Celebrates Climate Week with the Fifth Annual Sankofa Days


Over 300 families gathered at San Francisco’s Aquarium by the Bay on Pier 39 for the vibrant 5th annual Sankofa Days event.

This special day, a collaborative effort among the NorcalMLK Foundation, the San Francisco Chapter of the Links, Inc., and the Aquarium of the Bay, celebrated education and action on environmental stewardship with a focus on climate awareness and sustainable living.

The event was a hive of activity, divided into thematic zones — AIR, EARTH, WATER, and SANKOFA — each designed to engage children and their families in understanding and protecting our environment. The AIR section housed the Otter Nook where the youngest attendees learned about the impact of trash on climate through the interactive "3 R’s" (reduce, reuse, recycle) poster session. In the Farallon Room, the air theme continued with the "Babies Breathe Plant Powered Path to Clean Air" activity, educating families on how plants improve air quality.

Sankofa Days at Bay Aquarium. (video courtesy of NorcalMLK)
The EARTH zones were abuzz with creativity. One station offered the chance to create colorful Kente placemats, tying African heritage to the natural beauty of California. Another popular activity was decorating plant pots and making seed balls, blending art with agriculture. Additionally, participants learned about worm composting, a hands-on demonstration provided by the SF Environment Department, highlighting everyday sustainability practices.

In the WATER zones, the "Sea Wall Defenders" initiative, presented by the Port of San Francisco, offered insights into sea-level rise and climate adaptation. The "Touch of the Bay" section featured an animal encounters program where children participated in a squid dissection, providing a tactile experience with marine biology.

The central SANKOFA zone was a cultural hub, featuring the Sankofa Griot Reading Circle and the Climate Action Cinema, which showcased environmental documentaries. A highlight of the day was the Healthy Community Poster Arts Youth Awards, where 4th-grader Chance Johnson received a Steph Curry autographed basketball for his outstanding environmental poster.

The event concluded with the Sankofa Days Program, emceed by NorcalMLK E.D. Aaron Grizzell, where participants, including prominent figures like Mayor Courtney Welch of Emeryville, reaffirmed their commitment to the environment with a climate pledge.

The snack table, generously stocked with fruits and popcorn provided by The SF Produce Market, offered a moment of refreshment amidst the flurry of educational activities.

This year’s Sankofa Days not only educated but also inspired attendees to embrace environmental stewardship as a daily practice. Through interactive learning and community engagement, the event underscored the importance of each individual’s role in fostering a sustainable future.