ALANA leadership conference set Sept. 22 to 25

The 19th annual African, Latino, Asian and Native American Student Leadership Conference will bring its message of empowerment and unity to the SUNY Oswego campus Sept. 22 to 25.

Coordinated by SUNY Oswego’s Leadership Education and Activities Development Center, the conference features workshops, educational sessions and dance performances. The goal of the four-day conference is to enable students to embrace their roles as the future leaders of an increasingly multicultural global society.

The conference will kick off with the Dance Dance Revolution Club presenting “Come On, Let’s Dance” at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in the Hewitt Union main lounge. The Glitz and Glamour Roller-skating Party at 8 p.m. in the Hewitt Union ballroom will close the conference’s first day.

Keynote speaker Jeffrey Johnson will address conference attendees at 3 p.m. Friday in Bell Auditorium, Room 213 of Hewitt Union. A political and social activist minister and the former vice president of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, Johnson is the host and producer of “The Cousin Jeff Chronicles” on BET. He also has segments on the network’s “106 & Park, ““Access Granted” and “Rap City” programs.

A lecture/demonstration and master class with Biboti Ouikahilo, an expert in West African dance and drumming, will take place Friday. The 10 a.m. presentation in Hewitt Union’s Bell Auditorium is free. The 3 p.m. master class in the Lee Hall dance studio requires pre-registration, with a limit of 40 participants. The cost is free for ALANA participants and SUNY Oswego students, $15 for the public. To register, e-mail Cheryl Wilkins-Mitchell at

Friday night will feature an appearance by the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company, which draws inspiration ranging from Chinese ribbon dancing to the artwork of Jackson Pollack. Its performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre. Tickets, available through Tyler Hall box office, are $22, $18 for seniors and students, and $7 for SUNY Oswego students. Conference participants receive a free ticket with registration. Artswego supports the appearances of Cai and Ouikahilo.

Other Friday highlights will include exhibitions by the Red Planet skating and cycling club, the annual ALANA Fashion Show and an appreciation dinner with an address by Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie.

On Saturday, the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company will lead a free ribbon-dancing workshop at 12:30 p.m. in the Hewitt Union Main Level Food Court. The troupe will offers a 3 p.m. master class in Lee Hall requiring pre-registration by e-mailing Wilkins-Mitchell. It is free for ALANA registrants and SUNY Oswego students, $15 for others.

A multicultural dinner featuring Floetry will present a blend of Latino music and literature to the Hewitt Union ballroom at 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $16, free to ALANA Conference attendees.

Other Saturday events involve cooking a traditional Spanish meal, appreciating Caribbean culture, studying the effects of alcohol and judging an energetic step-team competition.

The conference’s closing ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Sunday in Room 212 of Hewitt Union.

Roosevelt Muhammad, assistant dean of students at the LEAD Center, encouraged participation by the campus and outside communities.

For more information on the ALANA Student Leadership Conference, contact the LEAD Center in Room 214 of Hewitt Union at 312-5420 or visit the conference Web site.

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(Posted: Sep 01, 2005)