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Holiday founder to join Kwanzaa events on campus

ATHENS, Ohio -- Maulana Karenga, creator of Kwanzaa and the Nguzo Saba, will deliver his keynote address, "Practicing the Seven Principles: The Cooperative Creation of Good," at the 14th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration and Dinner at 6 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Baker University Center Ballroom. The lecture is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Programs and the Black Student Cultural Programming Board and tickets go on sale Wednesday, Oct. 15. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 10 years old. The event will also include a variety of performances by Ohio University students and organizations.

According to the Official Kwanzaa Website, Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture that contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the Diaspora. These values are called the Nguzo Saba, which in Swahili means the "Seven Principles." Developed by Karenga, the Nguzo Saba stand at the heart of the origin and meaning of Kwanzaa, for it is these values which are not only the building blocks for community, but also serve to reinforce and enhance them.

The holiday is based on Nguzo Saba, which seeks to strengthen and celebrate family, community and culture. The seven principles are: Ujoma (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith).

Karenga is a professor in the Department of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Karenga also serves as the chair of the California State University, Long Beach President's Task Force on Multicultural Education and Campus Diversity and The Organization Us, which he founded following the Watts Revolt, the National Association of Kawaida Organizations and is the executive director of the African American Cultural Center and Kawaida Institute of Pan-African Studies in Los Angeles.

Karenga has published several books including: "Introduction to Black Studies," the most widely used text in Black Studies courses, "Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture"," Selections from The Husia: Sacred Wisdom of Ancient Egypt," "The Book of Coming Forth By Day: The Ethics of the Declarations of Innocence" and "Kawaida: A Communitarian Philosophy."

In addition to the Kwanzaa Dinner, the Black Student Cultural Programming Board will present, "K is for Kwanzaa," a program dedicated to educating the Athens youth about Kwanzaa. Students from Athens West Elementary School will participate in the program on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. at the Lindley Cultural Center. The program focuses on the principles of Kwanzaa as well as other African cultural features.

The Office of Multicultural Programs is a part of the Division of Student Affairs at Ohio University. The Black Student Cultural Programming Board is a registered student organization at Ohio University that addresses the programming needs of the underrepresented student community on the Athens campus.

For more information visit www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/ or www.us-organization.org/welcome.html.

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Media Contact: Davis, (740) 593-4027 or jd253201@ohio.edu

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