The first week of November was a lively one with many expected alumni and events taking place for the 2022 Multicultural Alumni Reunion (MCAR). The Multicultural Alumni Association hosted a myriad of events including the MCAR Celebrate event and the Multicultural Fraternity and Sorority Brunch for AU alumni and current AU students in hopes to celebrate, reconnect, and unify the diverse cultural identities of AU’s community. Additionally, MCAR in conjunction with the campaign for American University called Change Can’t Wait, encouraged people who have a stake in the AU community to donate to AU’s equity-based funds and AU’s commitment to Inclusive Excellence.
As classes were occurring during the first week of November, droves of eager AU alumni and changemakers attended the events planned for the Reunion. To kick off the reunion celebration on Thursday, November 3rd, the association planned an event called STRIKE Change! Bowling Meet and Greet. Subsequently, the next planned events were the Mosaic Gala and the MCAR Changemakers Breakfast. Notably, during the Mosaic Gala, the formally dressed attendants danced to known Black dances such as the Cupid Shuffle, the Cha Cha slide, and the Electric Slide. The attendants even participated in the newly famous dance– Cuff It challenge.
For the MCAR Celebrate event in the School of International Service Atrium, the attendees heard the beating of African drums played by Professor Kouyate and saw performances from Les Coeurs D’Afrique, AU Agni, and K-District. All the performances were culturally based with Les Coeurs D’Afrique infusing African and African-American styled dances into their performance. As for AU Agni and K-District, they performed dances based in South Asian and Korean culture, respectively. In the spirit of celebrating some of the amazing cultures represented by current students and alumni, Dr. Fanta Aw closed the event with an important word to the diverse alumni population: “My message to each and every one of you is please come home. Come home. Again and again. We need you. We need your best thinking, we need your allyship, and we need your inspiration.”
Photo Credit: https://www.american.edu/alumni/news/mcar-2021-recap.cfm
Dr. Aw’s words foreshadowed the last event of MCAR with many alumni and AU community members who are a part of The National Pan-Hellenic Council affectionately known as the Divine Nine in their different paraphernalia coming back home greeting their “brothers and sisters kissed by the sun” as best described by Mr. Steve Tillett– one of the charter members of the Kappa Chi of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc. As the event preceded, CFO, Vice President and Treasurer, Dr. Bronté Burleigh-Jones, an alumni of American University who is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, gave an inspirational speech filled with lessons of friendship, unity, commitment to community, and Black excellence. Dr. Jones first paid homage to her undergraduate chapter– the Nu Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and continued to greet and thank the Lovely Ladies of the Lambda Zeta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc for including her late best friend, Yvonne Styer-Merriweather and the current members of the chapter in a gift of pink and red roses on her first day as CFO. She continued her speech by stating that out of 25 members of the President’s Council, 10 are administrators of color and from the 10, seven are members of the Divine Nine. After all the speeches expressing unity amongst all Divine Nine members and Black people were heard, MCAR week ended with all the members of the Divine Nine taking symbolic photos of unity and social justice with the current Lambda Zeta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc encouraging everyone to register to vote with #BlackWomenVote.