Mama Rolia Manyongai-Jones is an immigrant from rural Liberia and former teacher with the Portland Public Schools. She is the "Founding Mother" of the community organization Kúkátónón (pronounced Koo Kah Ton Naun) Children's African Dance. Kúkátónón was founded in 1983 and means "We are one" in the Kpelle language of Liberia. For 35 years, under Manyongai-Jones' leadership and vision, Kúkátónón's programming provided a cultural life enrichment environment, provided mentorship and cultural exposure, community engagement, and STEM learning for children. As Mama of Kúkátónón, the troupe offer opportunities to Portland's Black communities to connect, network, and learn through workshops, cultural partnerships, and performances. To make room for younger generations to step into leadership roles, Manyongai-Jones stepped down from her position within Kúkátónón in 2018. She has shifted her focus to the Sebe Kan (Serious Sound) Youth Dancers, established in 2004.


Mama Manyongai-Jones continues to provide essential elder wisdom and cultural connection for many within Portland's Black communities.