Nova Scotia Journal

Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Yale African Students Association organizes Africa Week

Yale African Students

Key Takeaways:

  • The Yale African Students Association’s flagship event lasted a week, was themed “Reconnecting with Home in the Face of a Pandemic.”

The Yale African Students Association conducted Yale Africa Week, one of the organization’s signature events, from Nov. 7 to 13. The week included various in-person and online events introducing many facets of the continent, such as its cultures, art, sports, history, and politics, to create knowledge of modern Africa on campus.

The subject for this year’s event was “The New Road Home: Me, Myself, and the Motherland,” and YASA members attempted to replicate their home on campus as COVID-19-related travel limitations made their hometown feel even further away.

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“We are quite aware that we are living in a unique moment; the epidemic affected people in different ways,” YASA board president Chibuzo Enelamah ’23 remarked. “Since we were unable to hold Africa Week last year, and some of our international members were unable to return home, we wanted to emphasize the importance of reconnecting with home and channeling forth a sense of belonging.”

YASA wanted to be “general” in terms of who could attend the event so that everyone inside the Yale community could learn about and interact with the continent, according to Enelamah, who is an international student from Nigeria.

“We also encourage people who have no connections to Africa to attend,” added Enelamah. “People help the African continent in a variety of ways. So this week is a time to rejoice, but it’s also a moment to consider the roles that [attendees] are playing or aren’t playing.”

Semhar Araia, Facebook’s Africa & Middle East Diaspora policy leader, and Amini Kajunju, COO of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development, were among the professionals who spoke at YASA this year.

The week was sponsored by the Afro-American Cultural Center, the MacMillan Center’s Council on African Studies, the Yale Schwarzman Center and the Office of International Students and Scholars.

The Schwarzman Center’s assistant creative director, Jennifer Newman, described this year’s theme, which focused on belonging, as “strong.” She went on to say that YASA performed an “incredible job” in moving the community forward in a positive direction.

Source: Yale Daily News

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