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The STSI 2023 Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration

New Rochelle, NY

On Sunday, December 17, 2023 STSI Hosted It's Annual Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration.

STSI & Community Partners celebrated the 2023 Pre-Kwanzaa observation of the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa with dinner, dancing & vendor shopping.


This year's event displayed attended by black own business and over 120 attendees including the Majority Leader of the New York State Senate Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Yonkers City Court Judge Verris Shako, the Honorable Ben Boykin, Former Chairman of the Board of Legislators, and City of Mt. Vernon Mayor; Shawyn Patterson-Howard to name a few.




Sister to Sister International, is a Yonkers-based nonprofit which is dedicated to the empowerment of Black women and girls in Westchester and beyond.


Please watch Chanel 12 News Westchester Coverage Below



Kwanzaa is steeped in tradition.

Kwanzaa is a celebration that incorporates elements from various African traditions and languages. The main symbols of Kwanzaa are the seven candles, representing the seven principles, and other items such as the candle holder, unity cup, placemat, crops, corn, and gifts. These items are displayed on a placemat called Mkeka, which serves as a reminder of African heritage and traditions.


The Kwanzaa candle colors are black, red, and green.

During Kwanzaa, a key custom is to light the Kinara daily. The first day, the black unity candle is lit. On the second day, the red candle to the right of the unity candle is lit, and on the third day, the green candle to the left of the unity candle is lit. This pattern continues until the seventh day.


Each day of Kwanzaa highlights a specific principle.

The first day of Kwanzaa honors Umoja or unity. Kujichagulia or self-determination marks day two. Next comes Ujima, which reveres collective work and responsibility for the development and preservation of Black communities. Long before STSI created the directory of Black-owned businesses, Ujamaa or cooperative economics, urged Black communities to invest in themselves financially on the fourth day of Kwanzaa by operating or supporting Black establishments and creating ways to earn profits together. Nia means purpose and is the focus of day five. The sixth day’s theme is Kuumba, which represents creativity and Finally, Kwanzaa is closed out with Imani: Faith.




Tamshi la Tambiko (Libation Statement)


It is tradition to pour libation in remembrance of the ancestors on all special occasions. Kwanzaa, is such an occasion, as it provides. us an opportunity to reflect on our African past and American present. Water is suggested as it. holds the essence of life and should be placed.




STSI Kwanzaa Shopping Bazar


Our guests enjoyed meting and shopping our Kwanzaa Shopping Bazar where small black owned creative businesses displayed their creative products and services.



Drumming and Dancing

Together, we danced to African Drums and great music.



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