Twenty student organizations joined together on Nov. 5 for a Multicultural Feast to celebrate diversity with conversation, performances, dancing and plenty of food.
“All the [organizations] also have such a great relationship with one another,” said Shreya Joshi, a junior in the School of Public Affairs and president of the Hindu Students Association.
Hosted by the Residence Hall Association and Students for Change, the event was cosponsored by multicultural affinity groups and organizations including the Asian American Student Union, Puerto Rican Student Organization, Turkish Cultural Club, K-District, Caribbean Circle and Latinos en Acción.
The student groups selected catering from D.C. restaurants and dishes important to their cultures. Ten restaurants catered the event, including El Tamarindo for Mexican and Salvadorian cuisine, Qui Qui for Puerto Rican food, Abunai for Hawaiian appetites and Purple Patch for Filipino specialties. There were two serving tables, one for vegan food, serving buffet style.
The night began with welcoming words from the organizing student groups before attendees were dismissed to pile their plates with everything from chicken empanadas to sweet gulab jamun and samosas.
While students ate, Emily Acevedo, a junior, and Isabella Diaz, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, performed a dance with Afro-Bolivian roots. Jose Martinez played the guitar and sang “Luz de Luna” by Álvaro Carrillo.
“I think it was a huge success tonight,” said Marcus McNeill, a sophomore in SPA and president of the Resident Hall Association. “You can see how many people are excited to showcase their culture.”
Students For Change has hosted multicultural dinners in prior years, but this is the first year that the organization collaborated with the Resident Hall Association on the event.
“If we continue doing this partnership, it will be amazing because it’s gone well,” said Anisa Fagan, a junior in the School of Communication and the vice president of diversity and inclusion for RHA. “I’m just really excited for this event. I’m excited for the turnout.”
By the end of the event, most guests were on their feet dancing. Kaniya Harris, a senior in SPA and director of Students For Change was one of the organizers of the event.
“A lot of us are coming from different places, different backgrounds, so it’s just a night where we can all come together, enjoy each other’s company, enjoy some food from our cultures,” Harris said. “Being at a predominantly white institution, we really wanted to have a space for BIPOC students to come together.”
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Kaniya Harris as a junior in SPA. The article has been updated to reflect that Harris is a senior.
This article was edited by Maria Tedesco, Zoe Bell, Patricia McGee and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis and Luna Jinks.