Diversity Center to sponsor Kwanzaa celebration Dec. 12

Dec. 7, 2009

The annual Luther College Kwanzaa Festival will be held Saturday, Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. in Peace Dining Room of Dahl Centennial Union. The festival is open to the public.    

Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for students on board, $5 for children 6-12 and children 5 and under free. Tickets are now available at the Luther College Box Office, telephone (563) 387-1357, open Monday through Friday 9 – 10:30 a.m. and 11a.m. – 3 p.m. with extended hours on Thursday until 7 p.m.

The festival is sponsored by the Luther College Diversity Center and organized by the Black Student Union and Beta Theta Omega. This year’s theme is “Principles and Practices of Kwanzaa: Repairing and Renewing the World.”       

The Kwanzaa chapel service will be held Friday Dec. 11, 10:30 a.m., in the Center for Faith and Life main hall. The service is open to the public with no charge for admission.   

This year’s celebration will include a range of events, including a performance by the Luther College Gospel Choir directed by Brendon Adams, a poem by Sharei Green, drumming by Dickson Kwatampora and Blessing Yakubu, a song by Andrew Peterson, a solo saxophone performance by Adam Ragheb and a piano solo by Aida Dominguez.    

This year’s Kwanzaa Festival will honor an elder, Lawrence Williams, Luther professor of Africana studies and history, who will be retiring at the end of spring 2010. The celebration will honor and recognize his part in starting the Africana studies department at Luther College and his contributions and support of black activities in the school.    

Zukiswa Mpande, one of the student organizers of this year’s festival and a member of Beta Theta Omega stated, “Kwanzaa is an African-American tradition that celebrates the African Diaspora and connects them to the enriched culture and history as well as enriches their identity as both African descendants and American citizens.”    

Sylvia Nabukeera, another student organizer added, “It is a learning experience for students to come and be enlightened and share in the celebration of African-American history and culture.”       

Kwanzaa is a seven-day African-American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. It is an ancient and living cultural tradition that reaffirms the dignity of each person, the well-being of family and community, the integrity of the environment, and the meaning and value of a people’s culture.

Lawrence Williams
Kwanzaa at Luther