We hope to provide programs culminating in a week of building a strong community for African American Students and other students across The Ohio State University campus.
Planning the African American Heritage Festival is an exciting opportunity to assist African American Student Services, the Multicultural Center and the University with a community event. It also serves as an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions that African Americans have made and continue to make in our world today.
Communications Committee: Works hand-in-hand to design, schedule and implement publicity, advertising, press releases, and community relations’ projects on & off campus.
Community Service: Community service is a week-long event that allows OSU students, faculty, and staff community to give back to agencies in the surrounding Columbus area.
Cultural Events: A well-known and respected tradition, Mahogany Moments, is a semi-formal affair that ends our week in style and elegance. Mahogany Moments is always held at an eloquent venue with a full course dinner and dance to follow.
Gospel Fest: Since slavery, Gospel has been an integral aspect of the Black identity assisting in our survival of oppression through spiritual upliftment. The Gospel Festival was recently reintroduced to incorporate a critical element of the Black community into a week to celebrate heritage. Local artists and church choirs are invited to show reverence to God. Those of all religious backgrounds are welcome.
Heritage Festival Scholarship: As the African American Heritage Festival marks its 30th Anniversary, it also commemorates two years of awarding scholarships to deserving high school, undergraduate and graduate students. The scholarship will be awarded during the Town Hall Forum.
Kick-Off Celebration: The Kick-Off celebration is a highly energized showcase of fun and activities for every age group such as “Make your own video,” dodge ball and a vendors’ fair. The purpose of this event is to introduce the festival to the campus and city of Columbus. We share this event with various Columbus groups, such as African dance and youth drum line teams. The event is the beginning of a weeklong celebration to let the OSU community now it is the beginning of the festival.
OSU/Columbus Reads: One of the most important events that occur during the week is OSU/Columbus Reads. It is an event occurring throughout the entire week of the festival. In the past, we have had a total of 245 local area youth in grades Kindergarten – 2nd grade visit our campus. We read books, poems and other literary forms of expression prominent in the Black culture. The event serves to emphasize the great significance of reading, a fundamental tool, and how it contributes to their overall educational success.
Poetry Slam: The Poetry Slam is a competition focused on one of the most common forms of written Black expression. Local students compete to enter the competition. During the competition, contestants are usually challenged to express their work around the current theme of the festival.
Soul Time: Soul Time is a talent showcase of local artist. It consist of rounds where contestants are selected to move to the higher round to compete for a grand prize, or are eliminated by faculty and prominent members of the community serving as judges. Students prepare the hottest dance moves and sing with precision to be the crowned winner. It is great fun for the entire community.
Thursday Themed Event: With the rearranging of events for the weeklong Festival, Thursday is now an open day for the planners of the Heritage Festival to create events that are directly related to the annual theme.
Town Hall Forum: The Town Hall Forum is the most educational dialogue held during the week of the African American Heritage Festival. It brings both the OSU and Columbus community together for an informative session on an issue that affects members of the Black community locally, nationally and internationally. Town Hall is intended to provide the community with an open atmosphere to engage in dialogue and hear perspectives of experts in various fields. Guest speakers are invited to participate in the discussion. Past guest include, BET’s Jeff Johnson, Judge Joe Brown and Candace Carey of Drum line.
Vendors’ Fair: The Vendors committee is responsible for bringing local vendors to campus.
Volunteer Committee: Implementing programs occurring during the entire HF week and facilitating an orientation program for all volunteers, and establish and maintain a volunteer command post during the week of the African American Heritage Festival.
Therefore our mission is to "To educate, impact, and promote cultural awareness at The Ohio State University and in the Greater Columbus community while commemorating the legacy of the African American experience."