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Howard’s Afro-Latine Cultural Showcase Illuminates Diversity and Unity

The final bow captured by Azaria Jackson.

Changó, Howard University’s Afro-Latine student association and Spanish-speaking society, held their talent showcase on Feb. 24, featuring musical performances, dancing and a fashion show.

Titled “Iluminación: The Afro-Latine and Hispanic Cultural Showcase,” Changó’s talent showcase, held at the International Student House, was a celebration of Afro-Latine and Hispanic culture and provided a space for individuals to come together to support and uplift one another. 

President Obrian Rosario, a third-year political science major, and Spanish minor from Queens, New York and Vice-President Kayla Cason, a third-year biology major, chemistry and psychology double minor from Washington Heights, New York began planning for the showcase in July of 2022. Rosario expressed his gratitude for the support received.

Sarah Bryant singing courtesy of Peter Ramirez.

“I think that it is so heartwarming and heart fulfilling, and it’s just a testament to what could be done…I think it’s also really important to note that our organization comes up with no support. We have relaunched our organization and so just to see people come out is like, ‘wow you really believe in us!’ We’ve only been doing this work for a year – less than a year… we were able to secure a space, we sold it out, and we had a beautiful evening,” Rosario said. 

Changó was founded on Howard’s campus in 2016. They faced challenges during the pandemic and remote school years, but momentum returned and participation expanded in the past year. Cason discussed the importance of the event.

“One thing that is really important to highlight is that this is a labor of love from everybody,” Cason said.

Vicky Leyva singing courtesy of Peter Ramirez.

Cason shared her appreciation for those who participated to help put on the show, the performers and the attendees of the showcase saying, “It’s more than heartwarming, it makes me want to cry. It’s intense, but in the best and most beautiful way possible.”

Changó President Obrian Rosario and Vice-President Kayla Cason captured by Azaria Jackson.

The showcase was a significant event for the organization as it garnered participation and support after losing momentum, engagement, and support during the pandemic. With the turnout of the showcase, Rosario shared his aspirations for the future of the organization. 

“I want this organization to continue to grow. We’ve talked about it being something that’s nationwide and has chapters across HBCUs,” he said.  “We are launching our podcast which is going to be the first Spanish-speaking podcast in an HBCU in the entire nation.” 

For more information about how to get involved with Changó, follow their Instagram @changohubison

Azaria Jackson

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