The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is inviting campus and community members to a public Kwanzaa celebration from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 at the KI Convention Center, 333 Main St., Green Bay.
Kwanzaa is a unique African American celebration that focuses on the traditional African values of family, community, responsibility, commerce and self-improvement. It was first celebrated in 1966.
The Dec. 3 community celebration will feature members of African American fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha performing a step dance, as well as UW-Green Bay student Angela Roskos performing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Elgie R. Sims, Esq., Midwest regional vice president for Alpha Phi Alpha, will speak at the event. Sims served on planning committees for the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial that opened earlier this year in Washington, D.C.
The event will conclude with a group of African American men singing the “Alpha Phi Alpha Hymn,” said Shawn Robinson, multicultural adviser at UW-Green Bay’s American Intercultural Center. Some details of the schedule are yet to be finalized, but Robinson said the celebration will be a great event for campus and community alike. Green Bay’s demographics are changing, Robinson said, and it’s important to make the community aware of the positive contributions of African American residents.
“Social class (discrimination) and racism are still active within the community, and it is our job to inform those misguided about the African American culture,” Robinson said. “We use Kwanzaa as a way to touch on the seven principles (of the holiday) and focus on the traditional African American values of family, community responsibility, commerce and self-improvement. This community event is also intended to uplift our young students in the community, give them hope and inspire them to become agents of change within their home, community and school.”
Sponsors of the event include UW-Green Bay’s American Intercultural Center, Office of Student Life, Black Student Union, Diversity Task Force, Good Times Programming, Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Provost, Dean of Students office and Education department, along with St. Norbert College and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.