On December 5, Eugenio María de Hostos Community College held its 22nd Annual Kwanzaa Celebration with staff, faculty, students, and over 200 members of the community participating.
The lively event began with “The Harvest Procession,” which was performed with the assistance of the Harambe Dancers and Pat Mabry, the Hostos Kwanzaa chairperson. Also participating in the procession were Provost Carmen Coballes-Vega, Vice President Nathaniel Cruz, members of the Kwanzaa Committee, Professors Vermeil Blanding, Cynthia Jones and Sandy Figueroa, staff members Nydia Edgecombe and Lisanka Soto, and others.
This celebration was dedicated to the memory of Nelson Mandela, who passed away on December 5. The recent loss of this great leader gave the event even deeper meaning. Professor Sandy Figueroa, the mistress of ceremonies, asked the audience to celebrate Mandela’s life in the spirit of Umoja, the Kwanzaa principal of unity.
“Nelson Mandela was a great inspiration during my college years, especially when fighting for equal civil rights causes,” said Provost Coballes-Vega.
Glenda Grace, the College’s Executive Counsel and Labor Designee, spoke about the meaning of Kwanzaa and encouraged the attendees to embrace the principals of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
Dr. Gerald J. Meyer, chair of The Circle of 100, and Nydia Edgecombe, a founding member and administrator of the fund, presented the Kwanzaa Scholarship to Delroy Askins.
Askins is expected to graduate next spring with a degree in Liberal Arts. He is a member of the Hostos Leadership Academy and also the Start Program. Jason Libfeld, the College’s Student Leadership Coordinator, described him as “a passionate and uniquely gifted student.”
The celebration ended with a performance by the Harambe Dance Company, accompanied by nine children who are students in the Harambe Dance Company Drumming School.