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African American Heritage Festival

Raised toward our $10,000 Goal
46 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 12, at 11:59 PM EST
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African American Heritage Festival

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UPLIFT : Aspire to Inspire

Thank you for your interest in supporting the 41st African-American Heritage Festival sponsored by the Student Life Multicultural Center at The Ohio State University.

The African-American Heritage Festival is a student-initiated and student-led week of events that highlight the diasporic and dynamic Black student experience at Ohio State. Each year, this festival provides a chance to commemorate African-American culture through artistic expression over the course of one week. This year marks 41 years of the African American Heritage Festival at Ohio State. The theme “Uplift: Aspire to Inspire” will be incorporated throughout the entire academic year as we gear up for the festival. The dates for the festival are March 23 – 30, 2019. As we continue to grow and we embark on our 41st year, we further seek support. At this time, AAHF is embarking on our Annual Fund Campaign.  We invite you to make a gift that will help us create new and meaningful opportunities to serve our community. Although we have been able to maintain a 40-year legacy with the festival, we are hoping to enhance our events, bring in bigger artists, and extend our reach both within and beyond the OSU community. To do this, we need your support!

Thank you in advance for supporting AAHF and for participating in our first annual fund campaign!


To learn more about the festival, please visit heritage

Also, please view pictures from our 40th Festival here.


Below you will find a brief synopsis of the highlights of this year's events:

March 23: Kickoff

Traditionally, “Kick-Off” has served as the festival’s hype event that prepares the community for the rest of the festival. This year, the Kick-Off student chairs want to bring a “block-party” feel to the event to take the festival back to its original roots: block party style. 

March 24: Gospel Fest

Gospel Fest has been one of the most well-attended events of the festival. Individuals from both OSU and the Columbus community come out and connect through praise and worship. This year’s committee chairs aim to feature a children’s gospel choir. This will be a first-time occurrence for the event.

March 25: Word on the Street Word on the Street creates a platform for all parts of the community to join in and discuss what is important and relevant to the OSU student community.  This year’s chairs would like to create “barbershop-style” event and simulate a barbershop and beauty-shop scene where there is dialogue occurring regarding health and wellness in the black community.

March 26: Poetry Showcase Poetry Showcase is one of the most anticipated events of the festival.This year’s chairs hope to add a new round to the showcase where two poets will compete together and perform one poem.

March 27: Variety Show  Variety Show continues to grow bigger and better each year. It features various forms of talent from both the campus and Ohio community. This year’s chairs are invested in featuring unique talents such as instrumentalists, acrobats, opera vocalists, actors, and many more.

March 28: Theme Thursday The co-chairs of this event are empowered to creatively construct a program that is unique and unlike any other event during the festival week.  This year’s chairs are planning to hold a “Kings of Comedy” event where they feature local comedians. They also hope to recruit a well-known comedian as their featured performer.  

March 29: OSU Reads OSU Reads highlight the importance of literacy and education through collaboration between OSU and Columbus City Schools to create an interactive and fun experience for student attendees. For this year’s event, a Columbus City School class will spend a day on campus with our student volunteers where they will experience a day as a Buckeye.  Our chairs will also oversee a scholarship application process for one high school senior attending OSU in the Fall.

March 30: Mahogany Moments As the festival’s culminating event, Mahogany Moments is a highly anticipated gala-style program where students, faculty, staff, and community members come together to celebrate the accomplishments of the OSU African-American community and culminate the week of events.  This year, the chairs are striving to bring in a keynote speaker who is prominent in the African-American community to provide remarks and pilot a fundraising initiative in which all proceeds will go to a local Columbus non-profit organization.


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"Aspire not to have more but to be more" This year's 41st festival theme is "UPLIFT: Aspire to Inspire". This year's festival goal is to inspire the African-American community to aspire to be more in their daily lives.



"Live a life...leave a legacy" was the theme of our 40th African-American Heritage Festival. For this commitment, you will be commemorating the past 40 years of this rich festival's legacy.



"Attract what you expect. Reflect what you desire become what you respect and mirror what you admire."



KUINUA is the Swahili word for "UPLIFT". The theme of this year's 41st Festival is "UPLIFT: Aspire to Inspire".



"And so, lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go, struggling and striving, and hoping that the buds and bloosoms of our desires will burst into glorious fruition ere long. With courage, born of success achieved in the past, with a keen sense of the responsibility which we shall continue to assume, we look forward to a future large with promise and hope. Seeking no favors because of our color, nor patronage because of our needs, we knock at the bar of justice, asking an equal chance." - Mary Church Terrell, advocate for African-American Women

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