Up & Coming Weekly

December 26, 2018

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 8 of 28

8 UCW DECEMBER 26, 2018-JANUARY 1, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM e Umoja Group, Inc. of Fayetteville presents its annual Kwanzaa Celebra- tion this Saturday, Dec. 29, at Smith Recreation Center from 5–8 p.m. It's a time to celebrate, reflect and learn. Kwanzaa, which means "first fruits of the harvest," was created by Mau- lana Karenga and was first celebrated in the late 1960s. It is a celebration that honors African heritage in African- American culture, and it is observed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. "Kwanzaa is a secular event that celebrates culture, family and com- munity," said Wanda Wesley, a member of the Umoja Group. "We want to bring the community together to celebrate and learn about African kings and queens." e event will feature a candle-light- ing ceremony, a libation to honor an- cestors, a parade of kings and queens, singers, dancers, drummers and the presentation of the annual Umoja Group Scholarship. e Association of Black Social Workers, Fayetteville/Cumberland County Chapter, will collect nonper- ishable food items, winter coats, hats and gloves to be donated to Opera- tion Blessing. e candle-lighting ceremony features seven candles in a kinara. e candles symbolize the seven principles of Kwanzaa, which are unity, self- determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. e nonprofit organization has awarded $19,000 in scholarships since 1998. "We will be giving out two schol- arships to two students," said Wesley. "We are so happy to be able to give those scholarships out yearly. "ere is a surprise performance this year that everyone is sure to enjoy, so come out and experience it. Everyone is invited to bring their favorite dish and to dress in ethnic wear." e event is free and open to the public. Donations are appreciated and are tax deductible. For more informa- tion, call 910-485-8035 or email umo- jagroupfay@gmail.com. Umoja Group invites community to celebrate Kwanzaa by DR. SHANESSA FENNER EVENTS DR. SHANESSA FENNER, Prin- cipal, WT Brown Elementary School. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910 484-6200. Kwanzaa celebrates culture, family and community.

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