The Office of African Studies and Concerned Black Personnel (CBP) hosted its 32nd Annual African Heritage Graduation Ceremony on Saturday, May 5 at Wilkins Theater to celebrate the accomplishments of Kean students with African descent.
The event featured Kean Gospel Choir, the Spektrum Dance and Drum Company and Gumboot dancers in celebration of African culture. Gumboot dance is a cultural South African dance in which performers stomp out beats with Wellington boots. The dance is inspired by miners who used the sound of their boots to send out certain codes to other workers nearby because they were not permitted to speak to one another. Today, the dance is popularized as a form of entertainment and was enjoyed at the ceremony by all.
Presentations were also made by president of Student Organization, Damion Wilson, president of the Pan-African Student Union, Oluwakemi Alade, and keynote speaker, Cheryl Wills. Wills is a distinguished TV personality and host of the talk show, "In Focus with Cheryl Wills," and anchor for New York 1 News. Wills' speech worked to inspire the students to continue accomplishing all the goals they set out for on behalf of their ancestors who worked for them to be able to.
Graduate and undergraduate students were recognized for the achievements they had made over the course of the year. Remembering the Ancestors awards were also given to public management coordinator, Morgan Laury, Ph.D., and Mr. Henry Nxumalo.
The ceremony acknowledged both the excellence and culture the Kean students of African descent. Kean looks forward to seeing the future accomplishments these new graduates will make in the world.