Fashion show, peace walk, alumni inspiration to key ALANA Week

SUNY Oswego’s 27th annual ALANA Student Leadership Conference will launch Saturday, Sept. 21, with a multicultural extravaganza—the popular fashion show—before moving on to the Unity Peace Walk, alumni panels, workshops, a banquet and more.

“ALANA Week itself is one of the biggest events of the whole semester,” said Justin Brantley, president of the Black Student Union on campus and one of the organizers of the African, Latino, Asian and Native American Student Leadership Conference. “A lot of people do look forward to it.”

ALANA Conference planners gatherThis year’s theme, “Nature’s Essence,” will carry through the week, from the Fashion Show at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 in Waterman Theatre, through such workshops as an exploration of natural remedies in Latino culture at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 in Room 114 of the Campus Center, to the finale, an Alumni Networking Fair along the Campus Center concourse from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 28.

The annual banquet and dessert reception will take place starting at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in Hewitt Union ballroom, featuring the rapid-fire spoken-word poetry of entertainer Oveous Maximus. The gala will conclude with dancing from 9 p.m. to midnight to the music of DJ Tumbo, a 2012 alumnus.

“It’s not just social events,” said Louis Rodriguez, a senior wellness management major and volunteer organizer. “We work at informing people what ALANA is all about.”

ALANA Week began 27 years ago under the leadership of Tyrone Holmes, a former assistant director of Hewitt Union, and Howard Gordon, now executive assistant to college President Deborah F. Stanley. The conference seeks to inspire young people of all cultures to develop leadership skills and improve multicultural understanding.

Significant walk

The annual Unity Peace Walk from Oswego City Hall to campus, starting at 11 a.m. Sept. 22, will carry special significance this year, according to Brantley, tying into the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington led by Martin Luther King Jr. The group also will convey solidarity with Trayvon Martin, a Florida teenager who died during a confrontation with Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

“A key part will be the speeches we do at the beginning,” Brantley said.

New this year will be the Alumni Student Leadership Panel, 3:15 p.m. Sept. 23 in Room 114 of the Campus Center, where those who have gone before will share with today’s students how involvement in campus leadership has influenced their post-college lives, including their careers.

Entertainment at the barbecue and ALANA Cultural Movements Festival, 12:30 to 4 p.m. Sept. 22 on the academic quad, will include the talents of ADANFO, an African folkloric music and dance group, and Brian Bromka of La Familia de la Salsa, according to Magdalena Rivera, staff chair of ALANA. The college’s Gospel Choir and Image Step Team also will entertain during the conference.

Ticketed events include the fashion show, at $5, and the banquet and dessert reception at $15 ($12 for SUNY Oswego faculty and staff and seniors ages 60 and older; $8 for SUNY Oswego students).  Tickets are available at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at and by phone at 315-312-2141.

Parking for the fashion show and the banquet is included in the price of the ticket, and is available in the employee and commuter lots in front of and to the east (CORRECTION: 9-9-2013) of Culkin Hall, the administration building off the college’s Route 104 entrance.

For all other events, those without a current SUNY Oswego parking sticker need to purchase a $1 day-use parking permit. See for details.

For a complete schedule of ALANA Student Leadership Conference activities, visit

PHOTO CAPTION: ALANA planners—Student leaders from multicultural organizations across the SUNY Oswego campus annually help plan the African, Latino, Asian and Native American Student Leadership Conference. Among organizers for this year’s 27the annual ALANA Week, Sept. 21 to 28, are, front row from left, Darlynda Brownlee, president, and Larissa Assam, director of programming, respectively, of the Caribbean Student Association; Stephanie Okafor, vice president of the African Student Organization; DeNecia George, vice president of the CSA; and Justin Brantley, president of the Black Student Union. In back, from left, are Louis Rodriguez, a volunteer worker on the conference’s fashion show team; and Michael Nedrick, vice president of the BSU.

(Posted: Sep 05, 2013)

Tags: alana conference, alana