Gallaudet’s Diverse Cultures Come Together for a Single Holiday

The Office of Diversity and Equity for Students (ODES), with the assistance of Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Dr. Elavie Ndura, hosted the annual Multicultural Holiday Celebration, held on December 7, 2017. This was a gathering which brought people from diverse backgrounds together, recognizing specific cultural holiday celebrations.

ODES executive director Edgar Palmer, and Ndura shared words with the audience. Palmer opened the event with greetings and thanks to all for attending. He shared that the holidays are a time for cherishing loved ones and celebrating your culture. Ndura, in her address, emphasized the idea of “interdependence” and how it tied in with the holiday season.

“The feeling of being together and needing each other is what the holidays are all about,” said Ndura. Following her address, she gifted a handmade basket from her home country of Burundi to a raffle winner.

Several students and staff members presented short narratives of their holiday traditions. A DJ played music while folks mingled and danced. A few notable attendees included members of the Board of Trustees, Tiffany Williams, ’89 (chair), Claudia Gordon, and Greg Hlibok, Wendy Pohlhaus, executive assistant of the U.S. Attorney for External Affair, and Evon Black, ’87-’96, associate director of Recruitment and president of the National Black Deaf Advocates.

Community members enjoyed catered dishes and deserts of different cultures, along with rice and beans made from student groups.
About 300 members of the campus community came out to celebrate together and intermingle.
Ndura holds her Burundi cultural basket, alongside Gallaudet Interpreting Services staff interpreter Yvans Cator and the two ODES student emcees, Dominique Yeboah and Imonie Gwaltney.

All photos by Alejandra Silva.

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