Posted by: rcieri | December 3, 2008

African-American and multicultural programs to hold Kwanzaa celebration

Dec. 3, 2008

By Rachel Cieri


The Seven Principles of Kwanza were created by Maulana Karenga.

The Seven Principles of Kwanza were created by Maulana Karenga.

As a way to share the history, values and culture of the African heritage holiday with the Elon community, the Multicultural Student Council and African/African-American Studies programs will co-host a Kwanzaa celebration from 3:35 to 5:15 p.m on Friday, Dec. 5 in the African-American Resource Room.

“MSC was looking to have a holiday celebration, when Prudence Layne, the director of the AAAS program, suggested that we co-sponsor a Kwanzaa celebration, simply because it is something that had not been previously seen at Elon,” said Cheavanese Diedrick, a student program coordinator for the Multicultural Student Council. “Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrated by many and deserves to be acknowledged in this community.”

Students can participate in a smaller version of Karamu, a traditional feast that includes five traditional parts: welcoming, remembering, reassessment and recommitment, rejoicing and a farewell statement calling for unity.

The welcoming portion of the event will consist of a short video about the history of Kwanzaa. The remembering portion will include poetry readings as well as a performance from Elon’s praise team.

The reassessment and recommitment aspect of the celebration will feature a speech from Leon Williams, the director of the Multicultural Center. The farewell portion will be the traditional Kwanzaa Libation Statement, which honors African ancestors and sets the tone for the future.

All are welcome to attend the event, from those who regularly celebrate the holiday to those who are unfamiliar with it but wish to learn more.

“It is important for individuals to have a better understanding of various cultures and practices, and Kwanzaa is a significant holiday which many people celebrate but many more people know very little about,” Diedrick said.

Diedrick pointed out that Kwanzaa celebrates values like unity, collective work and responsibility, all of which are qualities Elon values. The celebration will give students a chance to learn more about the holiday while enjoying refreshments and entertainment.



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