by Sharina Taveras Lopez
It won’t include a long plane trip, a safari or breathtaking landscapes, but members of the community are invited to enjoy all that Africa has to offer at the Celebrating Africa Dinner being held at McDaniel College on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
A student organization on the McDaniel campus, Group Raising Awareness for Cultural Experience (GRACE) is hosting the event.
Event Coordinator and GRACE Board Member, Bodeshi Husen, said the club was started in the fall of 2010 “to promote unity among students of all races.”
“The group serves as a place where students can go to express their problems, raise their concerns, and be well-rounded individuals through various cultural and social experiences,” Husen said.
Husen, who is from Ethiopia, a country located on the east coast of Africa, said she is very excited to be representing her culture at McDaniel College.
“In a way, it is our legacy that we are leaving here on the Hill for other students and even ourselves to learn and interact with Africa without actually leaving Westminster,” said GRACE Board Member Stephanie Akoto who is also an African decedent from Ghana.
There are about 20 McDaniel Students involved in GRACE, the majority of them are of African descent.
The Hispano-Latino Alliance (HLA) is another student organization that raises awareness about other cultures. Last October, the group hosted a similar event, Taste of Latin America. It was a dinner and show that highlighted the Latin American Culture. It was well attended by students, faculty, and people from the community.
McDaniel sophomore, Angel Gutierrez attended last year’s Taste of Latin America event and she is helping to plan this year’s Celebrating Africa Dinner.
“They are great events, they help spread our cultures, and eliminate some of the false stereotypes people may have about cultures in general,” Gutierrez said. “People become more educated about cultures when they go to these events.”
According to Husen, people who attend the dinner will enjoy dishes from various African countries like Gollof Rice from Ghanda, Plantains from Western Africa, Gomen with Injera from Ethiopia, and more. The food will be cooked by Sodexo, a company that caters the food for McDaniel College dining halls.
The evening will feature poetry readings and two dance performances from McDaniel students and Mount Saint Mary’s University students. Additionally, there will be a fashion show where they African clothing will be showcased. The clothing will be provided by Jean Ncue, an African designer from Washington D.C, Husen said.
The cost to attend the event is $20. The event will be in the Forum at Decker College Center at McDaniel College. Contact Bodeshi Husen with questions at 301-222-3298 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharina Taveras Lopez is a McDaniel student contributing work to Patch as part of a jouralism class.