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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Black Family Day to celebrate the African Diaspora

This weekend, the UC Davis campus will take advantage of its ability to be used as a forum for groups to celebrate their interests, skills and cultures. The 42nd annual Black Family Day will be hosted on the Quad on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

The event will include food, a children’s fair, student and local artist performances. Guests over 21 can enjoy a jazz and wine celebration from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Student Community Center multipurpose room. This year, the Black Family Day will also be featuring esteemed R&B singer Goapele, who is well-known in the Bay Area. Additionally, representatives from the Sacramento radio station V101.1 will be in attendance, DJing and raffling prizes at the event.

Senior communication and international relations double major Tiana Brawley, head of the Black Family Day planning committee, said the event is meant to celebrate the African Diaspora, while still including those outside of the community who wish to attend.

“What makes Black Family Day so unique is that it is a space to showcase the African Diaspora community with a large, diverse audience of the people who attend Black Family Day. It is an inclusive event in which we encourage outside community members to come and check out the event and network,” Brawley said.

Brawley also said that the event gives members of the community a chance to take on leadership roles and culminate fellowship.

“The importance of Black Family Day speaks volumes on the UC Davis campus. It is a space which generates new leadership opportunities through volunteering, tabling and entertainment. It is an event that promotes retention and recruitment efforts in hopes that newly admitted or interested students can attend this event and become inspired by the community feel of that day,” Brawley said.

Brawley also said that the key element to the event is “family.”

“This year, we would like to see 200 families at Black Family Day. This is being emphasized because we would like to see diverse families of all backgrounds and representations come to this cultural event and learn more about UC Davis; our students and reflect on the work that we have accomplished this year. This is a family-friendly event and is geared towards celebrating the family,” Brawley said.

Senior, community and regional development major Jamila Cambridge, who also worked to plan the event, said that Black Family Day is crucial, as it showcases a group of people that is relatively unseen on the UC Davis campus.

“It provides an opportunity for an underrepresented community on campus to come together and celebrate family, culture and life. Black students comprise one of the smallest percentages on campus. It’s important for this event to teach others about our culture and for us to enjoy it,” Cambridge said.

In previous years, Black Family Day was a widely attended event; however, in recent years, participation has decreased. This year, the event planners are hoping to have a larger turnout, of various ethnicities and cultures.

“In the past, Black Family Day was once as heavily populated like Picnic Day. Folks from L.A., the Bay Area and even people from out of state would plan to come to Black Family Day every year. It was used as a space for family reunions, barbecues, populated with greek organizations and of course, families. We would like to return to that tradition of a large attendance this year and generate a large, diverse crowd,” Brawley said.

Following the Black Family Day event on campus, the National Pan-Hellenic Council is hosting an after-party at Luigi’s, located on 213 E St.

Sophomore biochemistry major Errin Hadnot said she is excited for Black Family Day because families who are not in Davis can come and see their loved ones and the work that they do.

“It’s important that we have this event; so because it allows families that don’t live close by to come and see what goes on at UC Davis amongst the Black community. They get the chance to witness our interactions and interact with us,” Hadnot said.

Ultimately, the Black Family Day planning committee hopes to see attendees having a good time, forming friendships and enjoying family time.

“Black Family Day is a day of unity, love and tradition. It is a legacy on this campus in which the African Diaspora community is very proud of,” Brawley said.

KELSEY SMOOT can be reached at features@theaggie.org.


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