ROCK HILL Former Rock Hill City Council member Susie Hinton will help Winthrop University celebrate Kwanzaa, a seven-day holiday based on African first-harvest celebrations.
Winthrop is hosting a candle-lighting ceremony next week and celebration of Kujichagulia, one of Kwanzaas seven principles meaning self-determination. Hinton is the guest speaker for the event which will also feature a gospel choir and African dancing.
Kwanzaa is a cultural and historical celebration, not a religious holiday, said Kinyata Adams Brown, program director for Winthrops Multicultural Student Life.
Winthrop recognizes Kwanzaa early because students and faculty are on semester break during the traditional celebration of the holiday, Dec. 26 through Jan. 1.
For Brown, the Kuumba principle which means creativity is personally significant, she said.
Kuumba, she said, calls people to serve others in their community creatively.
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we found it, she said, summarizing the meaning of Kuumba.
Winthrops Multicultural Student Life office gives students a more than me experience, Brown said.
The aim is to educate and help students celebrate their diversity, she said. The office has grown with student involvement over the past few years, Brown said, with more people embracing the campus diverse population in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and other identifiers.