OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego’s multicultural ALANA Student Leadership Conference will celebrate diversity Sept. 21 to 28 with a fashion show hosted by comedian and actor Talent Harris, a peace walk, keynote inspirational speaker Tish Norman, workshop presentations and much more.
This year, the African, Latino, Asian and Native American conference aims to be one of the biggest yet, according to Magdalena Rivera, student involvement and ALANA coordinator. It began in humbler fashion in 1986.
“It started out as one day, two workshops and now it has grown over the years,” Rivera said. “Students that have come through campus have cared enough to carry on throughout the years and bring ALANA to what it is today.”
The fashion show will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre. Harris, who performs standup in “Uptown Comic” and the former Showtime comedy series “White Boyz in the Hood” and had roles in “With or Without You” and “Sunset Park,” will emcee.
“The fashion show is going to be very exciting this year,” said Aaron Brown, vice president of the Black Student Union. “Last year’s was really great. It was one of the things that made me want to get involved, just watching the elaborate fashion scenes.”
Importance of unity
The third annual Unity Peace Walk will start at 11 a.m. at Oswego City Hall, 13 W. Oneida St., and end on the academic quad at SUNY Oswego.
The walk, led by ALANA organizers, is designed to unify students and residents of Oswego from differing backgrounds. Brown stressed the importance of unity.
“We want to be unified, we want to be a part of the town, just as much as the town probably wants us to be a part of it,” Brown said.
Norman, who has been an actor on “Boston Public,” “The Practice” and other shows, will speak at 7 p.m. Sept. 24, in the Campus Center auditorium. Tickets are free but required, and can be obtained at the Campus Center box office.
Author of “Calling All Greeks to the Floor: Powerful Lessons in Fraternity/Sorority Leadership,” Norman will talk about celebrating lives and organizations, and helping people focus on achieving big things. She co-authored the empowerment book “From Mediocre to Magnificent.”
Student involvement student assistant Louis Rodriguez said Norman, an alumna of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, will be able to share her Greek experiences with all student organizations on campus.
“Speakers before haven’t really tackled the area that she’s going to tackle,” Rodriguez said. “Her being part of a multicultural Greek organization, she can talk to students about that, as the multicultural Greek aspect is becoming more and more prevalent in this school.”
At 4:30 p.m. Sept. 26, SUNY Oswego alumna Ineisha Williford will present her one-woman show “Memento Mori,” a Latin phrase that means, “Remember we must die.” The show will take the audience on a journey through death and re-creation, and the struggle of becoming a woman and being appreciated as one.
The ALANA finale will be the annual dinner banquet and dessert reception, starting at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 28 in Hewitt Union ballroom, with entertainment by the college’s Gospel Choir. DJ Tumbo will provide music for dancing.
Tickets priced at $18 ($15 for seniors ages 62 and over and SUNY Oswego faculty and staff; $10 for SUNY Oswego students) may be purchased at the Campus Center box office, online at http://tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 315-312-2141. In combination with the Sept. 21 fashion show, dinner tickets are $30 ($20 for seniors and SUNY Oswego faculty and staff; $13 for SUNY Oswego students).
The fashion show alone is $10 ($6 for SUNY Oswego students; $3 for scenes participants).
For more information, visit the ALANA entry at oswego.edu/thepoint or call 315-312-5420.