Sankofa will hold its annual Kwanzaa ceremony at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10 in the Vandervort Room. This is an exciting celebration, as well as a tremendous learning experience for those who do not regularly participate in Kwanzaa activities.
“One of Sankofa’s goals is to share issues and experiences of diversity with the HWS community,” explains Brian Burbank ’11, a member of the club’s board. “While Kwanzaa is historically the celebration of black culture and community, it can also be a great way to celebrate as a school. Keeping the history in mind, HWS can reflect on how the seven principles: unity, self-determination, responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith are a part of our lives.”
Kwanzaa at HWS features student and faculty performances – including a keynote performer – and a dinner, as well as the traditional candle lighting ceremony, the most important part of the celebration. “We invite board members of other cultural clubs to light a candle for each one of the principles,” says Burbank. “As they light the candle, they reflect on what that principle means to them- how it’s prevalent in their lives.”
This year the keynote performer is Marilyn Sylla, director of the Bamidele Dancers and Drummers, a collective of artists from Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean that use song, music and dance to preserve African-rooted cultures.
Come join Sankofa and the rest of the Hobart and William Smith community this Friday for some holiday cheer!