Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African-American culture held from December 26 to January 1, culminating in gift-giving and a feast of faith. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to a different principles. Kwanzaa signifies a celebration of African heritage, family, community, unity and culture. It was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga.
This celebration ends a year-long period during 2020 of monthly programs looking to highlight the contributions of black community in the areas of cultural change, arts, literature, food, and music, as well as increase awareness around aspects of implicit bias and racism through and in these programs. The intention was to increase the communities understanding of the value of the African American Center for Cultural Development and ensure a more permanent home for future programming in this sort. These programs were to address a need to come together and advance engagement in programs that increase understanding of racial discrimination and promote racial reconciliation and healing for the purpose of facilitating practical engagement in the community. This will hopefully promote increased understanding and conditions of change within out own community.
The celebrations will take place at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, located at 109 S. Barry St., Olean. The African American Center for Cultural Development is currently working on securing a permanent location.
Due to uncontrollable circumstances, the Center's location is currently a mailing address only. The building in which they were located (W. State St.) is being sold and the Center is looking to raise funds to match the $225,000 Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant they were awarded from the state, meant to help renovate a former East State Street church into the center's new home! Please support as you can, it is very much appreciated! Private Message on Facebook for donation details and also follow them for events/fundraisers to be held at different locales throughout Olean. Mailing address is 108 S. Eighth St. The Center is still very much alive and going, missing only a physical address.