Africa Night file photo group

February 16, 2022 – A celebration of Black History Month and diversity on the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus will take place during Africa Night from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24, in Abbott Concert Hall in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building. The free event is open to the public.

The Black Student Union (BSU), Student Involvement and the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging offices sponsor the annual event.

The first 150 people to attend will receive a water bottle from Didomi, which produces reusable and resilient water bottles, and donates 50% of profits from every bottle to provide 10 years of water access to an African resident in need. The company was founded in Minnesota by Lamah Bility, a UWRF alum, and Anaa Jibicho.

During the evening, there will be a traditional African drum performance, live painting with music, sharing of spoken word, a dance performance and contemporary fashion show, said BSU President Ezekiel Olakunle.

African cuisine will be served. Due to COVID-19 precautions, masks must be worn in all university buildings.

“It is a night full of great culture,” Olakunle, a senior biology biomedical and health science major who is minoring in chemistry and psychology. “We want to share that culture with the community and show some of the amazing things our students are doing.”

Africa Night was held virtually last year due to the pandemic, with students able to pick up food before the virtual showcase events.

“It’s amazing to be back in person,” said Olakunle, who graduates in May and plans to work for a year at Hennepin County Medical Center getting clinical experience before starting medical school in fall 2023. “Africa Night is what made me fall in love with this school.”

Olakunle, of St. Paul, said Africa Night solidified his feeling of community on campus.

Planning the event takes months but brings BSU members closer together as they plan and build on the success of past Africa Night events, Olakunle noted.

“Africa Night is a bridge that brings people together from different backgrounds and cultures, Olakunle said. “It brings people together to celebrate Africa and Black African history and culture. Just learning about other people, cultures and their struggles is central to creating understanding. It is a great way to connect.”

Africa Night is part of the We Are Falcons Values Series, an effort that supports the campus values of academic excellence, innovation, being student-centered, global engagement, inclusiveness and engagement and how those values contribute to the larger UWRF community.

To learn more about Africa Night, email [email protected].

Print Friendly, PDF & Email