Culture slam highlights campus groups


Delta Psi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority put on a culture slam March 28 at Detroit Mercy to showcase groups on campus.

“We just wanted to give other organizations a chance to promote what they’re doing and talk about their values and their beliefs,” said Jhayla Mosley, sorority treasurer.

The other motive was to highlight some of the things students can do on campus.

Though only a few organizations participated, she thought it was a good event.

“The organizations who were here had a purpose to be here and the ones who weren’t here I feel like they missed out on a good opportunity,” said Mosley.

The African and Caribbean student organization was created by friends Sheila Sapati and Ayomide Okunlola, who serve as co-presidents.

They wanted to give a voice to African and Caribbean students.

“We came to the school and realized that the African student population has not been really represented on campus,” said Sapati.

Their goal is to teach other people about their culture and to breakdown stereotypes.

Sapati saw the slam as a good chance to learn about different organizations, but she wished more groups had been represented.

A.J. Carnathan, president of the Delta Sigma Theta chapter, said she thought it was important to bring cultures together.

“So it wasn’t just someone feeding them the information. They were able to see what interested them, so that’s why they set up as an exhibit,” said Carnathan. 

The event relocated to the library, which brought more traffic.  

“Something like this doesn’t happen very often so you get people like, ‘Oh, what is that?,’ ” said Carnathan.

Organizers plan to do another culture slam next year.

“I was glad that we were able to do this because experience is the best teacher,” she said.

Alkebu-Lan Village, an African-centered community-based organization, was also represented at the event. It recently celebrated its 40th birthday.

Alkebu-Lan is committed to developing and nurturing the environment in which families work together to build healthy minds, bodies and communities.

Tanissa Williams-O’Bey, a 27-year-old martial arts instructor at Alkebu Lan Village, has been in this program for 20 years.

She focused on the entrepreneurship program, which teaches students to make their own things, like jewelry makers or perfume.

“They actually go to different events and sell their products,” said Williams-O’Bey.

The village also has an after-school program which provides transportation to and from school.

After doing homework, students break off into fun activities, including African dancing, African drumming, karate and more.

The village also has a skating rink in its building.

The program has impacted students.