Kwanzaa Celebration at IWU

December 2, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Illinois Wesleyan University's Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Black Student Union (BSU) will host the annual Kwanzaa Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. in the Memorial Center's Turfler Room (104 E. University St., Bloomington).  Food will be served and the event is free and open to the public.

The term Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza," which means "fresh fruits" in Swahili, which is a pan-African language and the most popular dialect in Africa.

Kwanzaa, which is not a religious celebration, is a chance for people to reflect at the end of the year while looking ahead to the next year.  In addition, the celebration serves to build community, enrich African-American consciousness, and reaffirm the value of central grounding for life and struggle.  There are seven principles which people are to aspire to, Nguzo Saba: "Umoja" (Unity), "Kujichagulia" (Self-Determination), "Ujima" (Collective Work and Responsibility), "Ujamaa" (Cooperative Economics), "Nia" (Purpose), "Kuumba" (Creativity), and "Imani" (Faith).

Nationally, Kwanzaa takes place from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1; however, Illinois Wesleyan will celebrate the holiday early because students and faculty will be on winter break during this time.

For additional information, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at (309) 556-3412.

Contact: Leslie Boelter, (309) 556-3181