Our motto is “Family Reunions are More Than Just a Picnic”. 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.

We’ve noticed that family members have begun using social media (Facebook and Instagram) more and more to make death notifications, and want to begin communicating about the reunion in the same way. And while one can argue that it's a quick, painless, and less expensive way to get the word out, senior family members who do not use social media are feeling left out, and that this way of communication is neglectful and disrespectful to them specifically. What can we do to bridge this gap?


Lonnie G. Bunch, III

On Family History Month:
There is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history. And there is no higher cause than honoring our struggle and ancestors by remembering. While the African American community is no longer invisible, I am unsure that as a community we are taking the appropriate steps to ensure the preservation of African American cultural patrimony in appropriate institutions. Whether we like it or not, museums, archives, and libraries not only preserve culture they legitimize it. Therefore, it is incumbent of African Americans to work with cultural institutions to preserve their family photography, documents, and objects. While African Americans have few traditions of giving material to museums, it is crucial that more of the black past make it into American cultural repositories.
On Protests:
Protest is the highest form of patriotism. It’s where people demand a country live up to its stated ideals. And I think the pain that came with the murder of George Floyd—but with a long history of this pain—I think people said, I’m tired of mourning. Let me do something besides mourn. Let me challenge a country to live up to its stated ideals. And I think that’s what you’re seeing in the protests.
I think that usually black protests are seen as challenging the system, and the police are there to protect the system. And so I think that what you hope is that political leadership from the White House, through Congress, or at the local level, will recognize that law and order does not necessarily mean break the back of the black community. Law and order does not necessarily mean that it is the African Americans that bear the burden of this. What you really hope to see is that this is about fundamental change in policing, but also fundamental change in racial attitudes. That this is really about a broader notion of forcing a country to confront racism in all of its permutations and thinking very strategically, creatively, but candidly, boldly, about How do you affect that kind of permanent change.



It’s Photographer Appreciation Month again. We know family members love to take selfies, so use them to help the family get to know one another better. You can create an Instagram page or photo-booth on your website for sharing the pics. Be sure to identify those pictured and keep it family-friendly.


Click below for tips.

by Sylvia Ford-George 

It’s October. Summer is done. School is in full swing…almost. Twenty-twenty family reunions are over—some virtually, many literally, and planning for 2021 is evolving due to Covid-19. As the world tries to get back to some sense of normalcy, October comes along to help us fall back into family and some semblance of the ordinary, routine and familiar habits that make our family’s work. This year, part of making things work is making sure all of our family members who are of legal voting age, register and vote. In fact folks are calling for a nationwide family reunion on November 3, 2020 at the polls.
As our country comes to terms with it’s racial divide, understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the amount of work it’s going to take to get all of us, respecting each of us, regardless of color, creed, gender or race, voting is one way to set things in motion. Our family members—especially the young ones, have an opportunity and an obligation to make their voices heard. Vallery Kountze, FRI Advisory Board Member, said it best. “As parents, aunts and uncles, extended family members or simply friends of any young person in our lives, one of the most important contributions to the success and well being of this next generation that we can bestow is a blueprint for activism and the gift of empowerment. And right now, there’s nothing more urgent on that front than instilling a commitment to voting.”

“Like every rite of passage in a person’s life, voting—and all that comes with it—takes guidance and sometimes ‘a village’ to make it happen. So, as just one of our culture’s most beloved sayings goes, let “each one teach one” and help ensure that the young adults in your life participate in shaping their future by turning out at the polls this November.”
Our GET READY TO VOTE section below has loads of information to help your family get ready to vote, including more of Val’s information for getting young souls to the polls, a family and friends Take the Pledge challenge, and getting your cousins to vote.
October falls into place with lots to see, do and appreciate as family. We look after one another and hone our roles as spouses and significant others, moms and dads, children, siblings, grandparents, extended family and friends, nurturers, mentors, counselors, disciplinarians, accountants, appointment makers, and chorekeepers. We endeavor to stay fit, eat better, stay positive and be encouraged. It’s not always easy, but it’s what we do as family. The pandemic may have us separated physically but our family’s love of one another will always be present.
This month’s FAMILY TIME has close to 100 activities to make great family fun and learning out of including Family History Month, Breast Cancer Awareness, Domestic Violence Awareness, Photographer Appreciation, and Learn to Bowl Month, along with Evaluate Your Life Day, Smart is Cool Day, Do Something Nice Day, You Matter to Me Day, Make a Difference Day, Get Smart About Credit Day, Kids Music Day, Train Your Brain Day, Mother-in Law Day, Child Health Day, Take Your Parents to Lunch Day, Halloween, and Eat Better, Eat Together Month.
The REUNION TIP OF THE MONTH explains how to make a project out of Photographer Appreciation Month and the selfies family members love to take. We repeat last year’s WORTH REPEATING and DID YOU KNOW? with Lonnie G. Bunch III, former curator of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and current Secretary of the Smithsonian. He assumed his current position June, 2019, and as Secretary, oversees 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers, and several education units and centers.
We hope you have a great October. Take time to enjoy the view of falling leaves, radiant fall foliage, and family...whenever you can. Wear a mask. Stay socially distanced. Wash your hands. Be well. And don’t forget to register AND vote!


- Family Time
- Reunion Tip of the Month
- Worth Repeating
- Get Ready To Vote!

- Sticky Reunion Situation
- Reunion Planning 101


- October photos from Yahoo images.

Copyright 2014-2019  Family Reunion Institute. All rights reserved.

...celebrating        years!




Looking for something to do with the family this month?  October boasts Family History Month, Breast Cancer Awareness, Domestic Violence Awareness, Global Diversity Awareness, Positive Attitude Photographer Appreciation, and Learn to Bowl Month, along with Evaluate Your Life Day, Smart is Cool Day, Do Something Nice Day, You Matter to Me Day, Make a Difference Day, Get Smart About Credit Day, Kids Music Day, Train Your Brain Day, Halloween, and so much more. Check out our list of fun days to turn into great family time this month.


Almost everything we do involves family…and that includes voting. Voting on November 3rd is about more than who will live in the White House for the next four years. It’s about who will best defend, secure, protect, safeguard, preserve and look after our best interests in these trying times. And while we all don’t agree on who that person is, one thing is for sure…YOUR VOTE moves your candidate one step closer to being elected.

GET READY TO VOTE is us making sure we have all the information we need to vote on (or before) November 3rd. Below you’ll find information related to registering, voting and all things in-between like where you’ll vote, how you’ll vote, registration deadlines, mail-in deadlines and how to get your family members and friends ready to vote too.

> Getting Our Young Souls To The Polls

> Family Reunion 2020 Voting Pledge

> Get Your Cousins To Vote

>Click here for state by state registration and voting deadlines
>Click here for resources and targeted events
>Click here for ROCK THE VOTE and info on Talking to Young Adults

>Click here for Ex-Offenders who need help to determine if they can vote
(There is legal help and a number to call for assistance)
>Click here for information on Police Reform