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Caribbean Scholars Association to hold informative and social Caribbean expo

The Ohio University Caribbean Scholars Association (CSA) is holding a Caribbean expo Wednesday to introduce students and faculty to aspects of Caribbean culture. 

The organization was recently reintroduced into the OU International Student Union (ISU) and holds monthly social events that help to involve its members into the intricacies of the Caribbean values. 

The expo will showcase traditional Caribbean art, films, food, literature, cultural music and artifacts of the region for individuals to immerse themselves into the culture. During the reception portion of the event, Dr. Vibert Cambridge, a professor of the Office of Global Affairs and International Studies, and Guyanese sculptor, Winslow Craig, will speak about their experiences and offer insight to Caribbean opportunities.

Anna-Kaye Rowe, a second-year doctoral student studying higher education and student affairs, is the president of CSA. Rowe explained the purpose of the organization is to unite students with an interest in the Caribbean culture and provide education about their history. 

“We are a community of students and people from the Caribbean, of Caribbean heritage and people who simply love Caribbean culture,” Rowe said. “Our aim on campus is to provide a space to show the vibrancy of the Caribbean as a region to inform Ohio University students of what a Caribbean identity is.”

Despite predominantly having members of Caribbean heritage, Rowe said the organization is open to all students of varying identities and cultural backgrounds. 

“We embrace, encourage and reach out to students of all nationalities and identities,” Rowe said. “Regardless of who you are or where you’re from, we want people to know that the Caribbean has that welcoming warmth and hospitality that we’re known for.”

Anna Birk, a freshman studying journalism, is a scholarship recipient from the OU Office for Multicultural Student Access and Retention. Birk said the expo is a beneficial opportunity to experience a different perspective. 

“The event is highlighting parts of the Caribbean culture that a lot of people may not know about,” Birk said. “Events like these are definitely very important because it helps to open people’s eyes to a world that they may not consider.”

Rowe emphasized that multicultural events like the Caribbean expo are a way to expose students to the importance of diversity.

“I believe that events like these and events that the ISU puts on really reinforce that we are a part of a global community,” Rowe said. “It shows that not only is diversity important, but inclusion as well.”

Lloyda Garrett, a graduate student studying Latin American studies, is the vice president of CSA. Garrett is from Guyana and said her experiences at OU have included positive communication amongst varying cultures and ethnicities. 

“At a university like this you have the opportunity to interface with so many different people from different parts of the world,” Garrett said. “I think that's one of the things that I really enjoy about going here because we feel like we can contribute really positively to the whole atmosphere and culture.”

This culmination of cultures, Garrett said, is present not only within the opportunities available at OU, but also within the Caribbean culture as a whole. 

“The Caribbean itself is such a melting pot,” Garrett said. “I think that’s one of the beautiful things about the melting of cultures is that you’re able to create something magical when you come together and collaborate.”

Through sharing aspects of the Caribbean culture, with events like the expo, Rowe said that members are able to openly showcase their pride toward their heritage. 

“We are so happy to share our culture with this campus because we just feel so proud of our Caribbean identity,” Rowe said. “We enjoy telling others that we are from these small islands, but we really are here making an impact on this campus.”


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