Kwanzaa celebration is back for its 22nd year

Victor Higuera

UMOJA and the Ethnic Studies community will be hosting their annual Kwanzaa celebration on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6-9 p.m. in the Wilshire Theater.

This event is free for everyone and food and drinks will be served at 6 p.m., while the formal Kwanzaa program will begin promptly at 7 p.m.

UMOJA community mission is to collaborate with campuses at a local level so that there is integration with the particular college mission goals, strategic plan and student equity efforts.

“My greatest hope is that attendees will feel inspired to become connected and learn about Kwanzaa,” Smith added. “Those who attend should come out feeling connected to the UMOJA community and having learned what it means to celebrate Kwanzaa.”

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration which honors African heritage in African-American culture and is observed from December 26 to January 1. Photo credit: Umoja

“We are excited to announce that our guest speaker is Dr. Priscilla Ocen, the co-writer of “Black Girls Matter,” said Arnetta Smith, assistant professor of ethnic studies department. “We also have the Dembrebrah Drum and Dance Ensemble, the vocal genius of Tracey Wallace singing the Black National Anthem, and a host of student performers.”

This collaborative effort and celebration will bring the ethnic studies, UMOJA, and counseling together to plan this event. The guest speaker will focus on discussing community activism from the feminist perspective.

The hope is that attendees leave this event feeling inspired to work together in action, community, and create a space of belonging for themselves with their peers.

“Our mission falls in line with our theme, Umoja, Collective Work, and Responsibility,” Smith added. “Our goal is to highlight the role and strength of community building, activism, and collectivism in healing, repairing and remaking our society.”

For more information on this forum or any other upcoming forums and events, contact the UMOJA Center in Building 500 Room 513 or via social media.