Annual Multicultural Day, Diversity = Beauty and Strength

The Office of Global Programs hosted its 11th annual Multicultural Day on April 11, in the James L. Bolden Campus Union Ballroom. The festivities kicked off at 12:45 p.m. with an International Flag Parade , led by members of the eminent Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite Marching Band.

“Multicultural Day is an annual event that allows the University community to come together to celebrate diversity and the many countries and cultures represented on campus,” said Dr. Dovi Alipoe, director, Office of Global Programs, School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences.

The theme of this year’s festival was Diversity = Beauty and Strength, highlighting 26 countries represented among Alcorn State students, in addition to the United States. The purpose of the annual event is to showcase the diversity that Alcorn boasts. The University embraces multiculturalism and diversity by welcoming students, faculty and staff from all over the world.

“This event is an opportunity to showcase experiential learning for our students,” said Dr. Martha Ravola, assistant vice president, Academic Program Support and Graduate Studies.

Each year since 2005, the Festival has brought the University and community together for both a fun and educational day.

Felicia Harried, user interface architect in the Center for Information Technology and Services, who served as mistress of ceremonies, introduced the festival’s key performance participants, Kotchegna Dance Company, a multi-ethnic West African dance company.

Based out of Harlem, New York, the group is the initial provider of dance and drum traditions of the Ivory Coast. Performing in elaborate masks to the explosive percussion beats of distinguished drummers, Kotchegna Dance Company brings to life the ancient stories and legends of Africa’s Ivory Coast. Audience members were invited to participate and learn some bustling rhythms of the West African Ivory Coast.

Musical performances, along with the ever popular and flamboyant cultural fashion show, which represented some of the nations from around the world, were also featured on the program. Alcorn students, faculty and staff ripped the runway wearing traditional clothing of their respective countries such as Russia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Japan, China, and Philippines, among others.

“It felt great to be a part of this event. I enjoyed the festival thoroughly, particularly the African tribal dance and music,” said Rohitha Srinivasula, a graduate student from India, majoring in computer science.

Immediately following the performances, event goers sampled an array of cultural food delights, international music videos, posters, colorful displays, and artifacts from many countries around the globe, highlighting the diversity at Alcorn State University.

“We are very appreciative of the support from our students, faculty, staff, and administrators. We are, also, appreciative of the multicultural committee and IMSO [International and Multicultural Student Organization] for making this program a success,” said Dr. Alipoe.

He continued by adding, “We hope that Multicultural Day and similar events will inspire our students to broaden their perspectives through study abroad, internships, research or service learning abroad.”

Peggi Wolfe, specialist, Office of Global Programs, served as event coordinator.

For more information on the Office of Global Programs, contact Dr. Dovi Alipoe at (601) 877-6543 or [email protected].