My name is Assata ("she who struggles") Olugbala ( "for the people" ) Shakur ("the thankful one"), and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government's policy towards people of color. I am an ex political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984. I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI's COINTELPRO program. because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it "greatest threat to the internal security of the country" and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.
African Americans are a people who, in many ways, live behind enemy lines. The US Constitution, Bill of Rights and local laws that support them conspire to maintain a status quo that keeps Black people relegated to a permanent underclass. Consider, for example, the EIGHT, (count them, EIGHT) instances wherein Black communities burned to the ground by jealous White neighbors:
1. The Atlanta Race Riots of 1906,
2. “Black Wall Street” Greenwood , Tulsa, Oklahoma June 1, 1921
3. Chicago Race Riots of 1919
4. Rosewood Massacre 1923
5. Washington, D.C. Race Riots of 1919
6. Knoxville, Tennessee Race Riots of 1919
7. New York City Draft Riot of 1863
8. East St. Louis Massacre of 1917 
Likewise, consider the brutal assault against African Americans for simply attempting to desegregate public places during the Civil Rights Movement. The struggle continues until today in the form of institutionalized White supremacism. In all, African Americans have suffered during 250 years of slavery, 90 years of Jim Crow, 60 years of segregation and 35 years of state-sanctioned red-lining. 
And while some seek separation and others aspire to reparations, one thing is certain: We do not need approval nor permission to practice self determination according to African American needs. Òrìsà Lifestyle Agreements (OLA16) is a movement that creates opportunities for you to live the medicine by choosing small actions that have big impacts on you, your wallet and your local environment. Whereas the religion represents the vision of Yorùbá spirituality, OLA16 is Yorùbá spirituality in ACTION. Knowledge is potential. Action is power!
OLA16 is all about helping conscientiousness devotees achieve their goals through living the medicine, not just in the shrine, but in the super market, at work and in the community. This is in keeping with the teachings of Ifa, which tell us that "...we, as human beings, we are Olódùmarè's elect, designed to renew the world. We are ènìyàn - the chosen ones" (Ajanaku 1970). OLA16 affirms our understanding that each lineage is a self-perpetuating group that includes the departed ancestors, the living and those yet to be born. In this regard, our mission to renew the world is directly related to what we inherit, how we embody it and lastly, constantly improving the quality of how we guide each generation.
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | www.OrisaLifestyle.com