Around Campus Feb. 24


Ajani Stewart

Speaker informing new students at advising and registration orientation at Houston Community College Central campus.

Egalitarian Staff Report

HCC celebrates Black History Month with dance and drum festival
Annual event brings performers from Africa for workshops

In celebration of Black History Month, the Dance Department of Houston Community College (HCC) Northwest is hosting the 9th annual “Akwaaba Dance and Drum Festival” Feb. 25 – 27 at the Spring Branch campus.

The activities scheduled for the three-day event will include a variety of African dance and drum workshops for children and adults. Each day will showcase special performances featuring African performers, including the Saakumu Dance Troupe of Ghana, West Africa and Houston’s very own Lucia Dargam Dance Company.

The festival welcomes local and international performers who offer workshops and performances to HCC students and community members. Together, the performance artists, spectators and participants represent a culmination of African art, music, dance, culture, and food for the Houston community.

Shani Sterling is the organizer of the event and has been a dance instructor with HCC since 2007. She is also a professional choreographer who has trained with notable organizations such as Houston Ballet Academy and Alvin Ailey Dance Academy. Sterling also received a Fulbright Fellowship allowing her to live in Ghana, West Africa for 10 months and study with The Saakumu Dance Troupe, as well as The National Dance Company of Ghana.

Akwaaba means welcome in one of the many native Ghanaian languages and is a symbolic theme while we introduce several dance techniques and cultural attributes from this beautiful country and from the entire African diaspora,” said Sterling.

All events will be held at the Spring Branch Campus, 1010 West Sam Houston Pkwy, Houston, TX 77043. Performances will be held in the Performing Arts Center and classes will be held in Room 441.

All classes are free to HCC students and staff with ID. Regular cost for the classes and performances are $10.

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, February 25
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Caribfunk™ Dance Class – A’keitha Carey
7:00-8:30 p.m. West African Dance -Jean Claude Lessou (Cote D’ivoire)

Friday, February 26
7:00-8:00 p.m. Pre-Show Discussion
8:00 p.m. Performance featuring:  Lucia Dargam Dance Company, A’keitha Carey,and Saakumu Dance Troupe*

Saturday, February 27
10:00-11:00 a.m. West African Children’s Class – Saakumu Dance Troupe
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Drum Master Class – Saakumu Dance Troupe -(Ghana)
12:45-2:15 p.m. West African Dance Class-Saakumu Dance Troupe (Ghana)
2:30-4 p.m. Caribfunk™ Dance Class – A’keitha Carey
4:15-5:45 p.m. West African Dance -Jean Claude Lessou (Cote D’ivoire)
6:00-7:30 p.m. Samba – Lucia Dargam

For more information visit or contact Shani Sterling, [email protected] or 713-718-5305.

*Cost of performance is $10 for all who attend.

Poetry Slam, Pinemont Campus.
Feb 24 at 5 pm. Snap your fingers to a night of powerful, entertaining spoken word by local talented poets. Contact: [email protected]

Another poetry slam will be hosted at the West Loop campus in April by the Student Library Advisory Council. Student and community poets, contact Ron Machuca [email protected]

Stogie Kenyatta’s One-Man Show, Central.
Celebrate Black History Month with this Broadway-style show about the life and times of Civil Rights activist Paul Robeson. Two showtimes: Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 10am-noon in the Heinen Theatre; and Thursday, Feb. 25 from 6-8 pm in the San Jacinto Auditorium.

HCC’s IDEA Pitch Competition Presentation Workshops.
The competition is a platform for students to share their creative ideas. Prizes range from $500-$50. Session 1: Thursday, Feb. 25 9-11 am at HCC West Loop campus room C108A. Session 2: Friday, Feb. 26 11am- 1pm, Alief-Hayes campus room C101. Registration required, free to attend. More info here.  Contact: [email protected]

Jewelry, Gem and Mineral Show, Clear Lake.
Saturday Feb 27 10am-6pm and Sunday Feb. 28 10am-5pm. Pasadena Convention Center, 7902 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, TX 77507. Weekend admission is $7 for adults and $3 for students in grades 6-12, and children and scouts in uniform are Free. Learn about rocks, gems, fossils and Geology at this family-friendly event. A special program for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will provide hands-on experience will help with Geology related merit badges. Scouts in uniform may enter at no charge, and additional activities also available for children. Visit:

Career Ambassador Network, Southwest.
A bridge between Career Planning and Resources and students. Upcoming: Kick Back Friday Fundraising Party Feb. 26, 7pm, West Loop campus room 114. CAN Meeting on March 10, 4-6pm, Stafford campus room 142. Contact: [email protected] or 713-718-7718

Houston’s Kosher Chili Cookoff, Houston.
A fun-filled day of festivities and a kosher chili competition during the 6th Annual Houston Kosher Chili Cookoff. Feb 28, noon to 4pm, 5601 S. Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston: Braeswood, Houston, TX 77096. Adults: $10 Children (4-12): $6 Children under 4: Free. Contact: 713-588-4130.

Stress Management Workshop, Northline Campus.
Learn stress management and relaxation techniques from the Counseling Department.
March 1 at 11am in Northline room 219. Open to all students.

HCC S.T.A.R. Squad, Southwest.
Observe the moon, planets, stars and distant galaxies with high-powered telescopes. Events are weather permitting. Tuesday March 1 from 6-9pm, Stafford Campus behind Scarcella building. Facebook or contact: [email protected]

Psi Kappa Psychology Club, Stafford Campus.
Open to all students. Meeting Wednesday March 2, 12:30-1:30pm, Stafford campus Scarcella lecture hall.

Art Gallery Exhibit Opening, Central.
Roberto Castillo’s, ‘The Universe Within’ opens on March 2 at 5:30pm at the Gallery at Central. Castillo studied art at HCC Central, and is now a graphic designer at the Southeast campus. The exhibit is a digital art project that merges portrait photography of 12 individuals with Hubble Space Telescope imagery. A reception for Castillo will be held Thursday, March 3, from 5:30 to 7:30. The exhibit will be in the gallery March 2 through April 5.

Job Fairs, Southwest.
Stafford Campus Job Fair, March 3 from 10am-2pm in Learning HUB.
West Loop Campus Job Fair, March 9 from 10am-2pm in Auditorium.

Student Government Association, Southeast.
The SGA welcomes and encourages students to participate in campus student organizations. General meeting, Thursday, March 3. Contact: [email protected]

Phi Theta Kappa – Omega Sigma Chapter, District.
Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society. Their monthly meeting will be held Friday March 4 at 6:30pm in HCC Central Learning Hub. Contact: [email protected] or Facebook

Realm of Writers Creative Writing Club, Central.
Readings and writing workshops. Meeting: Tuesday March 8 at 2:30pm at HCC Central Campus, San Jacinto Building room 215. Contact: [email protected]

Free Tax Help, Northeast.
HCC has partnered with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide to offer its Students, Staff & Faculty free 2015 Tax Return Preparation. Please stop by the campus for free E-File and a free Hard Copy of your Return. March 9 at 10am-2pm. Northeast Learning Hub, 555 Community College Dr.

Opportunities for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, Southeast.
The Houston MBDA Business Center will host this free event March 10 at 9am at the HCC Southeast Campus Learning Hub Building Room 108. Billions of dollars are awarded every year to U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration grantees. Small businesses should attend this event to learn more about prime and subcontracting opportunities with these agencies and how you can become certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. Also, attendees will learn more about the Houston MBDA Business Center and becoming a client.
Contact: [email protected] RSVP here.