Afro-Caribbean Expo aims to raise awareness and funds

Tammy Tran


This coming weekend, the Afro-Caribbean club, Students Working Against Hunger Prevention, Black Organization of Students, SOUP and Leadership and Mentoring Program have partnered with the Office of Multicultural Affairs to host Lawrence’s first Afro-Caribbean Expo. The Afro-Caribbean Expo Fundraiser will take place on Sunday, April 29 from 3 pm-5:30 pm in the Warch Campus Center’s Esch-Hurvis room. Attending the event is free and it will be open to everyone in the Appleton and Lawrence community.

Said ACC member senior Ornella Hills, “The expo has two goals. First, it serves as an opportunity for Afro-Caribbean Club members to display various aspects of their culture with the Lawrence and Appleton Community. This expo is different from participating in Cabaret and previous ACC events. It will focus more on important and unique aspects of our culture that individuals might not be previously aware of.” Hills is also student programs coordinator at the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

During the first portion of the event, the Eepo will feature a sampling of African and Caribbean Cuisine. The meal will cost $3 for Lawrence and $5 for community members. The expo will also include booths run by different organizations on campus relating to different aspects of African and Caribbean culture. The booths will feature artifacts from Sierra Leone, a display of Afro-Caribbean cuisine and traditional clothing from different countries in Africa. Some booths will also have interactive activities such as face painting, Caribbean games.

Continued Hills, “The second goal [of the Expo] is to raise as much money as possible for the charity Kids Give.” Headed by Professor of Government and Edwin & Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science Claudena Skran, Kids Give serves to help provide school supplies and educational scholarships for children in Sierra Leone to afford school fees. According to Hills, $50 can send one child to school for a whole year in Sierra Leone. In addition to raising funds for the children, the expo aims to raise awareness about the organization in the Lawrence and Appleton communities.

Donation jars will be available throughout the event for those willing to make a contribution to Kids Give. In addition, snacks will be made available in exchange for donations. All the proceeds from the Afro-Caribbean food sampling and donation jars will go towards this charity.

The expo will also feature a Reggae band performance by Irie Sol from 4-5 p.m. The band will be playing reggae and dancehall music from the Caribbean.

“I think the Expo is of importance to the Lawrence community as it will offer the students a unique opportunity to learn more about African and Caribbean culture,” shared Hills. “[I think it will also] shine light upon some of the common stereotypes associated with these cultures. The expo will also give the Lawrence community an opportunity to help those less fortunate and to do so in an exciting and delicious way. We would really like LU students to come out and support this charitable event and learn more about our cultures. “