By Michael Wunder, News Editor
Half a dozen UNO organizations will gather Dec. 2 to enjoy traditional dishes during a celebratory Kwanzaa banquet in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom.
Banquet attendees will be served a traditional array of African dishes, said Helen Kang, assistant director of cultural programs and student organizations.
“This year we are serving catfish, greens, red beans and rice, cornbread, banana pudding with vanilla wafers and sweet tea,” Kang said. “These dishes are traditional African-based dishes that families would typically make for Kwanzaa, although different families celebrating Kwanzaa have their own variations.”
Vegetarian choices will also be available, Kang said.
A short film about Kwanzaa will be shown before dinner, giving attendees an opportunity to become acquainted with the holiday before being engaged by facilitators, who will lead discussions at every table.
“Kwanzaa facilitators will also engage participants at their tables about one of the seven Principles of African Heritage–aka Nguzu Saba,” Kang said. “During this time, participants not only will learn about a principle but talk about how this principle impacts their lives.”
Rev. Kenneth Allen, senior pastor at Omaha’s Zion Baptist Church, will be a keynote speaker for the event. He’s expected to talk about the history of Kwanzaa, Kang said.
This celebration will mark the 16th year of Kwanzaa celebrations at UNO.
The University of Nebraska Omaha’s Student Organization and Leadership Programs (SOLP), African American Organization, American Multicultural Students, Impact Movement, National Council of Negro Women, the UNO National Pen-Hellenic Council and Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship have all teamed together to bring this popular event back to campus for 2011.
The event will start at noon and go until 1:30 p.m. All UNO students, faculty, staff members are invited to attend, Kang said.
Although a RSVP is required to guarantee a spot during the event, those interested in attending who did not reserve a spot can come to the event at noon, as seating may be available, Kang said.