Annual Kwanzaa Celebration Honors African Culture, Consciousness
November 29, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Illinois Wesleyan University's Office of Multicultural Affairs
and the Black Student Union (BSU) will host the annual Kwanzaa Celebration on Tuesday,
Dec. 5, at 5:30 p.m. in the Turfler Room of the Memorial Center, 104 E. University
St., in 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 "first
fruits" in Swahili, the most popular dialect in Africa, and corresponds with the celebration
of ancient African harvest celebrations.
Established in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa, which is a cultural rather than religious
celebration, is an opportunity 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 introduce and reinforce the "Nguzo Saba,"
or seven principles. The principles are: "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: Rebecca Welzenbach, (309) 556-3181