Hundreds of years of African-American history is celebrated every February, and on Friday, January 29th the celebration begins early with Harambee, a cultural celebration of Black, African and Afro-Caribbean culture on campus. With the help of For Members Only, Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) Heather Browning, and MSA Graduate Assistant Khaled Ismail, Harambee has grown to become a more inclusive space for diverse cultural expression on campus.
“One big thing we’ve been trying to think about, and trying to be more intentional about is expanding the representation of the diaspora that is celebrated in Harambee,” Ismail said.
This celebration of Black excellence will feature the presentation of the Gardner-Exum Scholarship as well as music and dance by Chicago-based West African troupe, Kruccus International, and Adrienne Stewart back again for her fourth year in the program. There will also be three student performances, including musical sequences by Northwestern Community Ensemble and Soul4Real as well as slam poetry recitals by two students reflecting on what “diaspora” means to them..
“We wanted to highlight student contribution to the black community here at Northwestern,” Ismail continued. “There is such a wealth of creativity here on this campus.”
Ismali said Harambee is just the “tip of the iceberg”developing a real understanding and appreciation of the culture of the diaspora.
“Heather is working to get a pulse on what is happening on campus and around the country and tailoring our programs to address those needs,” Ismali said.
MSA has planned a number of events working with the Center for Awareness, Response, and Education (CARE), Northwestern Athletics, student activism groups and more for the month of February so students of all backgrounds can develop a deeper understanding of the issues and experiences of the Black community in the modern age.
Harambee will take place at 6:00 p.m. in Norris’ Louis Room on Friday, January 29. For more information about this event or other events happening during Black History Month, check out MSA’s website.