OSWEGO — The multicultural SUNY Oswego student organization ALANA will celebrate its 25th anniversary conference Sept. 18-24 with the return of its founding student, Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes, as keynote speaker.
As a student, Holmes — now a fitness guru, business consultant and author — approached Howard Gordon, executive assistant to the president of SUNY Oswego, about having a multicultural day on a Friday to represent the cultures, concerns and achievements of students of color.
That was the beginning of ALANA, the African, Latino, Asian and Native American Student Leadership Conference on campus, according to Gordon and Magdalena Rivera, student involvement coordinator at the Point.
“At the bottom of this year’s program is a quote from Confucius: ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,'” Rivera said. “That spoke to many of our students, to be able to come this far and to be able to bring Tyrone back, the student who started the whole movement.”
Holmes, who has a master’s degree in business management from SUNY Oswego and once was Hewitt Union’s assistant director, will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, in Hewitt Union ballroom. A competitive cyclist and USA Cycling coach, Holmes is a certified personal trainer of cyclists and triathletes, and author of “Training and Coaching the Competitive Cyclist.” His business consulting programs include “How to Build a Six-Figure Business” and “Improving Performance in Culturally Diverse Settings.”
Tickets for the free presentation are required, and are available at the Campus Center box office, 312-3073.
Holmes’ and Gordon’s innovation now has become a weeklong celebration filled with multicultural activities. Among the events:
* Sunday, Sept. 18: The Peace Walk, which begins at 11 a.m. on West First Street near Oswego City Hall, sponsored by the Black Student Union, one the culturally diverse organizations represented in ALANA. Students should arrive by 10:30 a.m., according to Catherine Rosario, special events coordinator for the BSU.
* Monday, Sept. 19: At 6 p.m. in Room 114 of the Campus Center, ALANA and Living Writers Series speaker Arthur Flowers, a novelist, essayist and performance poet, will explore the rhythms of the African-American experience. Flowers will punctuate his talk with the sound of his African kalimba (thumb piano). The presentation by the author of “Another Good Loving Blues” is titled “Your World, Your Game: Making It Happen in the 21st Century” and is free and open to the public.
* Tuesday, Sept. 20: From 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Campus Center auditorium, SUNY Oswego students, faculty and staff will present a “Day of Expression,” showcasing poetry, readings, music and dance from diverse cultures.
* Wednesday, Sept. 21: From 6 to 9 p.m. in the Campus Center food court, ALANA will offer a celebration of diverse music and dancing featuring Haudenosaunee dancers, the African drummers of Syracuse-based Adanfo (which means “friends and family,” according to the West African ensemble), and an opportunity for all attendees to participate in “Soul Train”-style dancing and Zumba.
* Thursday, Sept. 22: From 12:45 to 2:10 p.m. in Room 210 of Tyler Hall, students will discuss and tour “Crossing the BLVD,” the three-year project of filmmaker and photographer Warren Lehrer and actress and oral historian Judith Sloan to give voice to immigrants and refugees in Queens. A 3 p.m. presentation in Room 201 of the Campus Center will feature J. Ivy, who blends hip-hop with spoken word and appeared on Kanye West’s Grammy-winning “College Dropout” album.
* Friday, Sept. 23: At 3 p.m. in Room 133 of the Campus Center, the African Student Organization will make a presentation about HOPE, an organization that collects money for bricks to build schools in impoverished areas of Africa, according to student Mohamedou Gueye, president of ASO. At 7 p.m., the popular ALANA Fashion Show will take place in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre; tickets are $10 for the public and $8 for SUNY Oswego students through http://tickets.oswego.edu, by calling 312-2141 or at all SUNY Oswego box office locations. There is a special combination offer for the fashion show and the next night’s banquet and dessert reception: $35 ($22 for seniors ages 62 and older and SUNY Oswego faculty and staff, and $15.57 for SUNY Oswego students).
* Saturday, Sept. 24: At 4 p.m. in Hewitt Union ballroom, doors will open for the annual ALANA banquet and dessert reception. Tickets are $18 ($15 for seniors ages 62 and older and SUNY Oswego faculty and staff; and $10 for SUNY Oswego students).
Parking is free in campus lots on evenings and weekends for those attending ALANA events.