November 30, 2006
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Amherst College will present its annual Kwanzaa celebration at 12 noon on Sunday, Dec. 3, in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Dean of Students Office and the Black Students Union at the college, the program and traditional feast are free and open to the public.

From the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” meaning “first fruits,” Kwanzaa is the week-long African-American holiday observance held from Dec. 26 to Jan.1. Founded in 1966 by Ron Karenga (Ron Everett), Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, but a cultural one based on the first harvest celebrations celebrated in Africa. The seven days of Kwanzaa are dedicated to seven principles: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith).