We believe reunions have the power to nourish and strengthen families of all races and ethnicities. Reunions can encourage healthy extended family relationships, provide a sense of belonging, restore family pride, nurture and respect all generations, and impart wisdom, knowledge and a shared purpose. Our goal is to strengthen, inspire and support family reunion planning; share useful information and resources; and advocate for the teaching of family and reunion history, values and experiences.
Planning a family reunion? Click below for tips on:
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
Baptist minister, activist, spokesman, leader in the Civil Rights Movement, son, brother, husband and father.
Happy New Year!!!
Every new year comes with hope, goals, wishes, dreams, desires, anticipation—along with a bit of self-examination. We review the year that has passed, take note of our achievements, and identify what needs more work and time in order to be successful. We remember loved ones who’ve passed and consider ways to heal relationships that need restoring. We ponder life events that challenged and made us stronger. We count our blessings and enter into the new year with a mind towards improving, enhancing, and being more productive. We aspire to live better, be happier, healthier, and more organized—especially in terms of our family and reunions.
I don’t know about you, but I want to advocate for 2022 being the best year ever for family reunion planners, our families, and family reunions. We’ve spent the past two years ducking, dodging, and wrestling with covid-19 and its many variants, as well as political unrest, hate, escalating crime, gun violence, etc.
In 2020 covid-19 was new to most of us. We lost sight of what it took to get and keep our loved ones and reunions together for fear that our coming together would sicken or kill us. Then masks and vaccines were made available. And while most people were concerned and somewhat skeptical, many adapted, complied, and assented. Masks were worn, vaccines given, folks were socially distancing themselves, and we saw a downward swing in the number of covid illnesses, loss of life, and interestingly even the flu. And we were looking forward to the trend continuing, and the prospect of normalcy began to sink back in. But then somewhere in 2021 common sense got lost. And folks began to travel, party, vacation, and live like covid didn’t exist anymore. And we now find ourselves almost back to where we started—even though we know that masking, vaccines, and now boosters can make things better for all of us.
The saying goes, “when you know better, do better.” And that’s what I hope we all do in 2022. It's a new year and a new beginning. Time to be hopeful for the restoration of our family and reunions. Time to be positive, wear our masks, wash our hands, and be socially distanced—on the road to full recovery. Time to empower ourselves and others. Time to be encouraging and supportive. Time to be the light. To do what’s right for the safety, health and well-being of ourselves, families, neighbors and friends.
This year we’re looking forward to a safe, healthy, happy and prosperous New Year—for all of us and our reunions! We may have different goals and pursuits, but if we take the time to make our plans, stay focused, and stop with excuses, success is sure to follow.
Whatever you’re hopeful for in 2022, stay determined to succeed. In the end we’ll improve, make our families better, and our reunions sweeter.
Here's wishing all of you a healthy, happy, better and best New Year!
- You're Invited
- Family Time
- Reunion Tip of The Month
- Worth Repeating
- 10 New Year's Resolutions for Families
- 10 Things To Strengthen Your Family & Reunion This Year
- 7 Steps to Maintaining Your New Year's Resolutions
- Practical Family Reunion Planning
- Sticky Reunion Situation
- Question of the Month
- FRI Survey Results
GENEALOGY QUICK START TV
Planning a Family Reunion
aired Thursday, January 13, 2022.
It was educational, enjoyable, and a whole lot of fun.
Click below to view the recording.
DR. IONE D. VARGUS LECTURE SERIES
Temple University Libraries and
Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection
Thursday, February 3, 2022, 2:00 pm, ET
Event is free. Registration required. Click below to register.
President Barack Obama
“Hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”
A great family reunion starts with a strong family. You can get the family off to a great start by identifying 12 things family members can do each month this year to make your family stronger. Then share the list with the family-at-large and encourage everyone to work on one item a month to help the family grow closer, stronger and better—together. For example, if you want to see your reunion continue for 25, 50, 100 years or more you’ll want to get the younger folks involved, engaged and helping plan for the future. If you want your school aged students to read more, plan a 100 Book Reading Challenge and share results at the next reunion. If you want to raise more money for the reunion, get the whole family involved by asking members to collect and donate their change. A little change from everyone, collected monthly, can add up to hundreds of dollars. Make sure your list of 12 things includes all age-groups, is educational, and fun for everyone.
January’s observances are geared to help us get back into healthy, everyday routines. January motivates us to: mend ourselves physically, financially and mentally; get organized; and do things that inspire and encourage, including Celebration of Life Month, Family Fit Lifestyle Month, Financial Wellness Month, Get Organized Month, National Thank You Month, Hunt for Happiness Week, Compliment Day, Cuddle Up Day, Hugging Day, Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, Motivation and Inspiration Day.
Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Families
1. Get Unplugged
2. Eat Well
5. Do Chores
6. Be Good to Others
7. Get More Sleep
8. Save Money
9. Live Green
10. Have More Dates
For more details regarding the above, CLICK HERE.
1. Integrate family members from every age group/generation to assist with the activities, matching elders with youngest members to help nurture and cultivate a shared respect, like and learning from one generation to the next. Elders have a real-life perspective and understanding regarding how things were done in the past that the younger generations can learn from. The younger generations can assist in sharing today’s technology and their sense of being to make researching easier.
2. Update all family members email and cell phone numbers.
3. Identify a focal point for the placement of information, messages and photos. For instance:
4. Update your family tree. Make sure it includes all of the newest members. Continue searching your past.
5. Select a fundraiser or two for this year. If you haven’t done one on a while, make it something easy and fun that the whole family can get involved in like a change collection, cook or bake-off.
6. Begin identifying activities for your next reunion.
7. Identify a family project that everyone can get involved in (family quilt or cookbook).
8. If you only have a few of your youngest family members involved in reunion activities and/or planning, it’s time to get more of them involved. Meet with them to determine what it take to get them actively involved.
9. Stay in touch with family elders on a regular basis.
10. Conference call or meet virtually with family members on a monthly basis.
January sets the stage for many of us to evaluate the year that has just passed and identify those things we want to improve or do better—for ourselves, our family, and our reunions. Whether you call it a resolution, goal, pledge, desire, hope or dream, the main thing is that we want to be successful. No matter what guide or source you use to help you along your way, the seven basic steps needed to maintain and succeed at your resolutions are listed below.
For more info on how to maintain your resolutions, click the links below:
In 2019 we started planning a small, first-time family reunion for 2020. Because of Covid-19 we haven’t been able to hold the reunion yet, and the momentum for the reunion is falling off. Do you have any advice for new family reunions that haven’t had a chance to get started due to Covid?
Getting together around the December holidays can be a lot of fun. And while everyone’s together it’s a great time to talk about the family reunion, get caught up on what’s been happening with family members, and share family history by playing a game called “Three Clues”. The purpose of the game is to get family members to identify which family member you’re giving clues about. The goal is to share information about family members in a way that they’ll remember—plus, possibly gain additional information to add to your family history.
Step 1 - Give family members 3x5 cards and have them write their name and three things about themselves. They can use additional cards to write down information about family ancestors or members who are not present.
Step 2 – Collect all of the cards. Then using the info provided, give three clues to see if family members can guess who you’re describing. For example:
Info on 3X5 card #1 Three Possible Clues
Name: Charles Brown What family member is:
- Married with 3 children 1. A new homeowner
- Principal at a high school 2. Married with children
- Purchased a home this year 3. A lead educator
Info on 3X5 card #2 Three Possible Clues
Name: Marie Young (aka Nana) What family member:
- Born in Virginia, resides in New York 1. Is an entrepreneur
- Homemaker 2. Was born down south
- Baked pies at home to support the family 3. Makes sweet desserts
You can adapt the game to 4 or 5 clues; ask questions about which family members were born in the 1920s, 1950s, etc.; or identify family members with the same first name; or who are high school students; college graduates; veterans, etc. Whether sharing family history is something your family does all the time—or haven’t done at all—you can make a game of it and include all family members from every generation.
How does a game help your reunion planning? A big part of planning a reunion is knowing who you are planning for. Getting insight into who your family members are, what they do, where they are, etc. enriches the story of your family history; supports the memory (and continuation) of your family footprint and legacy; and helps you build your family tree.
One of the goals for the Family Reunion Institute's 2021 Virtual Family Reunion Planners Workshop Survey was to receive first-hand information regarding the needs of family reunion planners. Outside of identifying where help was needed most from our list of 17 topics, planners indicated 10 additional topics.
Did you attend the Family Reunion Institute's Virtual Family Reunion Planners Workshop on Saturday, October 23rd? Here's what attendees had to say:
- This is a fantastic presentation...
- Thank you for this experience today.
- Very good information.
- This has been WONDERFUL!!!!!!!
- Thank you for having this Workshop.
- Thanks to everyone for all the information provided today!
- Thank you, FRI, for this very insightful workshop. The presentations have been stellar.
- I am completely new to family reunion planning. I want to thank you for providing such a vast amount of information. I cannot wait for our next planning meeting. I believe everyone planning a reunion should attend this workshop!
- Thank you. Excellent. I learned a great deal.
Our next Workshop is in April 2022. Stay tuned for the date, time and topics!