Nov. 25, 2002
Harrisburg Area Community College's 10th annual Kwanzaa Celebration will offer music, dance, gifts, food, activities for children, and other entertainment on Saturday, December 7, from 10am to 7pm. The public is invited to join HACC students for the free events in the Cooper Student Center on the Wildwood Campus. A 3 v 3 basketball tournament will take place in the James Evans Physical Education Center throughout the afternoon.

The Kwanzaa Festival returns with jazz music in the early afternoon from Ronnie Waters and Friends, featuring Diane Wilson, gospel renditions from The Black Achievers Gospel Choir. Dance performances mid-afternoon will include the Southside Steppers from Crispus Attucks and the Imani-Edutainers, an African Dance Company. Later in the afternoon the Writer's Wordshop Players will perform a dramatic interpretation.

Afterward, the popular fashion show by ABW Productions will offer some fashion suggestions for the holidays. The Children's Corner is a place where children can participate in face painting, storytelling, craft workshops, see the appearance of SuperReader and watch a puppet performance by Kids on the Block. Children's activities are ongoing between noon and 5pm.

Highlighting the festival is the third annual Harambee Recognition Awards from 10am to noon. The public is welcome to attend. Master of Ceremonies Valerie Pritchett, weekend news anchor and reporter for WHTM ABC27 News, will present eight awards to community members who exemplify the principles of Kwanzaa.

"HACC's Kwanzaa Festival has developed into a tradition among HACC students and community residents," says Kwanzaa event coordinator, Patricia Thompson. "It may not be common knowledge what the seven principles of Kwanzaa are or perhaps what foods are prepared for the Karamu. The students enjoy it as an end-of-semester event before finals. It's a fun way to learn about the history of African Americans while at the same time recognize the individuals locally who provide such great examples of the Kwanzaa concept."

    Recipients of this year's awards include:

    UMOJA (Unity)
    Ho-Thanh Nguyen
    YWCA Vietnamese Immigrant Advocate

    UJAMA (Cooperative Economics)
    Mrs. Angela Marie Ulen, Vice President, Hooper Memorial Home, Inc.

    KUJICHAGULIA (Self determination)
    Mr. Otis Nash, Readjustment Counseling Therapist with the Veteran's Admnistration

    UJIMA (Collective work and responsibility)
    Ms. Valerie Simmons, Executive Director, The PROGRAM for Female Offenders

    NIA (Purpose)
    Ngozi, Inc.

    KUUMBA (Creativity)
    Mrs. Esther Edwards, Community Advocate

    IMANI (Faith)
    Rev. Brenda M. Alton, Pastor, Harambee United Church of Christ

    Characteristics of the Nguzo Saba (Overall winner)
    Mr. Clarence E. Stokes (Posthumous), Veterans & Community Advocate

After welcome remarks from HACC president, Dr. Edna Baehre, and a performance from The Black Achievers Gospel Choir, HACC's African American Student Association and The Black Achievers will offer Kwanzaa presentations. After the award ceremony, participants will share in the Karamu, the celebratory feast.

Harrisburg Area Community College is a two-year college with nearly 12,000 students. The college serves a ten county region in South Central Pennsylvania from it's campuses in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and Gettysburg and from a number of off-campus community sites. Harrisburg Area Community College provides degree and diploma programs in more than 154 fields as well as technical training and workforce development services. The college is proud of the educational opportunities it offers to an increasing number of students from throughout Central Pennsylvania and from nearly 30 different countries.

For more information about the Kwanzaa Festival, contact Patricia Thompson at HACC, (717) 780-2632, or email at the address listed below.

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