Celebration of Africa, May 24th, UCSD East Ballroom

Celebration of Africa, May 24th, UCSD East Ballroom

On Thursday May 24th, the African Student Association (ASA) put on their annual Celebration of Africa (COA) at UCSD. Although this was the seventh year that ASA had put on the COA, it was the first year that they had invited the East African community of City Heights to attend. As a staff member of SPACES, I was the liaison person with the East African Center to make sure that everyone got where they were supposed to be. Over 70 people from the Center attended that day, thanks to the hard work and collaboration of the staff at the East African Center, the COA organizers, and the SPACES staff. When the buses arrived, it was wonderful to watch the community folks—both parents and students—descend and walk to the Price Center together. They created quite a presence, as many of the attendees wore their beautiful and colorful traditional clothing.  When they entered the East Ballroom in the Price Center, where the celebration was held, some of the women immediately noticed that there was no Somali flag hanging amongst the featured African flags, and were visibly upset about this omission.  Luckily, one of the organizers was able to locate a Somali flag, and hang it up with the rest, which brought smiles to the women’s faces. At the event, there were vibrant African dances and singing, a fashion show, and delicious food. In order to accommodate the people who were observing Ramadan, we had reserved the nearby Comunidad room for them to pray and break their fast. They greatly appreciated this accommodation of their religious practice

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