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The Alpha Kappa Alpha Gamma Phi Omega Chapter is hosting a Rites of Passage ceremony at 6:30 p.m. today in East High School, 820 Northampton St.

Rites of Passage is an African ritual meant to maintain African and African-American culture and tradition, and consists of a transformation ceremony marking the passage from childhood to young womanhood.

The participants include 16 girls between the ages of 16 and 18. The girls underwent months of lessons and activities to learn about African and African-American heritage in a program that also focused on their physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

The ceremony is free and open to the public, and is part of AKA’s Debutante Leadership Program.