ALANA Cultural Center Celebrates Unity In Diversity

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Over a weekend in late September, the message that the ALANA Cultural Center is open to everyone played out in full force with events that drew about 1,500 members of the campus community.

At the annual ALANAPalooza, students performed songs and dances, student organizations got shout outs, and campus partners shared their programs and resources. ALANA student ambassadors, InterGroup Dialogue interns, and social justice peer educators all contributed to the extravaganza.

Colgate’s OASIS+ (Organization of Asian Sisters in Solidarity) and the Vietnamese Student Organization partnered to organize the Mid-Autumn Festival. Hands-on activities included lantern decoration, calligraphy, firecracker making, and figurine painting, and participants enjoyed mooncakes as they watched the full moon rise.

Students seated at tables and standing in line outside the ALANA Cultural Center at night time

At the Multicultural Night Market, students cooked, shared, and presented street and ethnic food from different countries. 

About the Center

The ALANA (Africana, Latin, Asian, and Native American) Cultural Center provides multicultural exploration, social justice education, and campus community building among students, staff, and faculty.

Their team supports and promotes academic achievement, multicultural competence, social and leadership development, and experiences of students from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups through community building, education and training programs, empowerment and support, and programs and initiatives.

Five tenets of community building guide their work: commitment to social justice, celebrating the unique cultures and histories of campus community members, helping students feel empowered to take ownership of their lives, and peer education and engagement.

The center also hosts a podcast series. Recent episodes include Ethiopia: Cultural and Political CrisisFarmers Protest in India, Anti-Asian Violence, Black History Month Program: Tap Into History (A Collaboration with Tap Dance Troupe), and
International Mother Language Celebration.

This year, the center is focusing on “unity in diversity,” said Esther Rosbrook, the director. “We acknowledge that everyone brings their individual uniqueness to the campus and that we need to celebrate the rich tapestry of diversity existing on our beautiful campus.”