On Wednesday, December 9, 2009, over 250 students, alumni, and members of the college community celebrated Kwanzaa in the Repertory Theater at Hostos Community College. Sponsored by the Hostos Association, the Hostos Student Government, the Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture, and the Alumni Relations Office, these celebrations have been held for the past fourteen years under the leadership of Admissions Advisor Pat Mabry and the Kwanzaa Committee.
On this occasion, Interim Vice President Nathaniel Cruz of the Division of Student Development and Enrollment Management spoke of the beauty and meaningfulness of this holiday. Interim Assistant Dean Kim Sanabria of the Division of Academic Affairs added that the seven principals of Kwanzaa are qualities that we all should cultivate and teach our students.
The following members of the college community participated in the candle lighting ceremony:
- Student Government President Ronald Hunter and Professor Eunice Flemister of the Early Childhood Program lit the candle of Umoja (Unity).
- Linda Alexander-Wallace of the Counseling Department and Sara Delany, Chair of the Student Senate, lit the candle of Kujichagulia (Self Determination).
- Dean Deirdre Aherne of the Division of Student Development and Enrollment Management and student athlete Ian Walcott lit the candle of Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility).
- Athletic Director Carol Kashow and student athlete Erica de Jesus lit the candle of Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics).
- Hugo Monroy Canceres, Coordinator of the Scholar Bound Scholarship Program, and Wilton Pichardo, PTK President and a Student Ambassador, lit the candle of Nia (Purpose).
- Professor Rees Shad, Coordinator of the Digital and Animation Program and Hostos alumna Norma Sooko (Class of ’09) lit the candle of Kuumba (Creativity).
- Lisanka Soto, Assistant Director of Admissions, and Student Ambassador Colwin Simpson lit the candle of Imani (Faith).
Following the candle-lighting ceremony, the audience enjoyed a performance by the Balance Dance Company, choreographed by Obadiah Wright. Then the celebration ended with a feast of African food in the Hostos Cafeteria.