Celebrating African Culture and Heritage

Apr 13, 2018 | University Relations staff

DUBUQUE, Iowa – A celebration of African culture in Dubuque has become an annual tradition.

Exploring Africa and the Diaspora will be held Friday, April 20, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Heritage Center on the University of Dubuque campus. The event is free and open to the public.

This is the fourth year the Multicultural Family Center, in collaboration with UD and Clarke University, have sponsored the event. Each year, the event has a different name and a slightly different focus.

Exploring Africa and the Diaspora will not only include the diverse cultures of the African continent, but it will also include the diaspora of those cultures into the Caribbean and North America. The event will feature informational displays, food tasting, dancing, and a fashion show.

“The event is inspired by the sponsors’ desire to promote cultural awareness and inclusion while educating others about Africa and the Diaspora,” said Naomi Kipulu, president of UD’s African Student Association. “Our goal is to show the community of Dubuque the beautiful elements of African culture through music, dance, food, and a fashion show. We hope that each person who attends this event will leave with a better understanding of Africa’s various cultures and the willingness to spread diversity and cultural awareness as well.”

Several groups collaborated to present the event, including the Multicultural Family Center, UD’s International Studies and Multicultural Student Engagement offices, UD’s African Student Association, Clarke, and Divine Word College. The main financial sponsor is the Multicultural Family Center.

Mary Gitau, PhD, an assistant professor of social work at Clarke and member of the Multicultural Family Center Board of Directors, originally brought the idea of celebrating Dubuque’s African community to the attention of the Multicultural Family Center. She said the event has been well-received each year.