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January 19 event to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.

1/11/2010 —
The public is invited to attend a special Martin Luther King Jr. observance on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus. The free event will take place in Swimmer Hall in the Williams Building. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., dozens of Fayette County’s African-American students will be recognized for significant achievement in academic scholarship, community service, athletics and performing arts. The celebration also will feature a performance by Umoja, an African dance and drum ensemble, at 12:30 p.m.

Umoja African Arts Company was formed in 1989 to promote the African culture in the United States and was revitalized in 1998 as a non-profit arts organization. Nearly all of the artists of Umoja, which means “unity” in Swahili, are Pittsburgh natives dedicated to demonstrating how art can be a bridge between cultures. Founder Elie Kihonia is an instrumentalist who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a member of the Gevakin Choir, Kihonia toured Africa, the United States, and Europe, and noticed a need to promote and keep Africa’s diverse history alive through art, song, and dance.

On the actual Martin Luther King Day holiday, Monday, Jan. 18, Penn State Fayette students (who have a day off from classes) will gather to have a “Day On” to perform community engagement with fellow students from the Penn State Beaver, Dubois, Greater Allegheny, New Kensington and Shenango campuses.

The Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Penn State Fayette is sponsored by the campus’ Inclusion Group.
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