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Willamette's Africa Week celebration will include an African dance workshop on Feb. 13 in Cat Cavern.Willamette's Africa Week celebration will include an African dance workshop on Feb. 13 in Cat Cavern.

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Celebrate Africa Week at Willamette and Support Humanitarian Projects in Africa

Willamette University's African Studies Club will host its fifth annual celebration of Africa from Feb. 13-19. Africa Week events focus on the theme "Africa's Regreening: Local Solutions to Environmental Challenges." All events are free and open to the public.

On Saturday Feb.13, the week kicks off with an Africa celebration and market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Willamette's Cat Cavern, on the second floor of the Putnam University Center. Shop for jewelry, crafts, drums, clothing and artwork while supporting humanitarian projects in Africa and local entrepreneurs in Oregon. Visit Willamette to enjoy African cuisine, music, and many family-friendly activities throughout the day. Visitors can watch a demonstration of traditional Kenyan cooking at noon or participate in a dance workshop at 1 p.m. with Ghanaian drummer and dancer Obo Addy.

Grace Kuto, a native Kenyan and founder of the Harambee Centre, will deliver the keynote address on Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Smith Auditorium. Kuto has worked to support local initiatives in African countries, including the development of a health clinic in her hometown of Chwele. The dynamic Rainbow Dance Theatre will open for Kuto, with performances ranging from traditional African to hip-hop. Afterward, Kuto will sign copies of her book "Harambee! Stories and Recipes from the African Family Circle."

On Feb. 18 at 7 p.m., the public is invited to visit Ford Hall for a screening of the award-winning Kenyan film "From a Whisper." Courtesy of the Cascade Festival of African Films, "From a Whisper" explores the 1998 bombing of the American embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, in which over 200 people were reportedly killed and an estimated 4,000 wounded. The film won five prizes at the 2009 African Movie Academy Awards, including "Best Picture."

The African Studies Club hosts the week's events with support and assistance from other campus groups, including Willamette's Institute for the Interdisciplinary Social Analysis of Complex Global Challenges, Black Student Union, Associated Students of Willamette University, French and anthropology departments as well as the president's office.

For more information about any of these events, contact Sarah Kutten at (503) 370-6942, or email the Africa Club at africaday@willamette.edu.

02-08-2010