Plattsburgh State’s AKEBA is hosting its second annual Black Student Union Weekend, and it starts tonight with the “Own the Spotlight” talent show.

The entertainment event will showcase the talents of members from different organizations on campus, President of AKEBA Lateef Wearrien said.

PSUC’s Kickline, Dance Corps and African Unity are just a few of the groups on the program for the show.

Dance Corps Public Relations Chair Amy Sheldon said they will be performing a full company number, a jazz number and a hip-hop number.

“We always love to perform at any event on campus, and we always perform at AKEBA’s events every year,” Sheldon said. “It is really exciting to be doing that again.”

She said the group can’t wait to see how the crowd reacts to their performance.

“We work so hard, so we love to have all of that hard work pay off with an excited crowd,” Sheldon said.

PSUC’s a capella group, Minor Adjustments, is also on the program for the talent show, just as they were last year, performing two songs.

“We are just excited to be performing, and hopefully the audience likes us,” Minor Adjustments Director Taeko Kelly said.

Tomorrow night, AKEBA is hosting its Seasons Fashion Show. Similar to last year’s event, the union is bringing in three fashion designers from New York City who have designed all of the clothes for the student models.

“Our theme this year is ‘Seasons’, so they’re going to be playing off the different seasons of their fashion,” Wearrien said.

He said the designers are trying to get their names out to promote what they do, and two of them have returned from last year.

“It is neat that AKEBA is shining light on designers and talented individuals who many of us haven’t heard of,” said Kelly, who is also the PSUC Student Association vice president of clubs and organizations.

Kelly said she always looks forward to the event because they invite talent from across campus to work together for the show. She said it is nice to see new faces and meet new people she didn’t know before.

“They are constantly putting on really popular events every week, and they always go over well and draw attention and get people on campus talking,” she said. “They spread awareness about numerous topics and have a lot of support on this campus.”

Kelly said this weekend allows people to foster what they are good at while AKEBA does what they’re good at, which is put on a great event that attracts many PSUC students and community members.

Wearrien said the reason that AKEBA does this weekend event is to bring the community together, and it is something different than having their regular meetings where they discuss bigger issues and topics.

“We do have fun. A part of our mission is social engagement,” Wearrien said. “It has been a great way to have fun with different people and different communities coming together and having a good weekend.”

Wearrien said he has been looking forward to this weekend all semester, and it is a nice way to de-stress and leave PSUC for Thanksgiving break.
“It is always a fun event, so I hope that this year is just as popular, if not more,” Sheldon said. “I hope people come out and see their (AKEBA’s) hard work because I know it’s been a lot of work they have put into it.”

Tonight’s “Own the Spotlight” and tomorrow night’s “Seasons” Fashion Show both start at 7 p.m., with doors of the Angell College Center Ballrooms opening at 6:30 p.m. Students and community members can buy their ticket for the weekend’s festivities at the information desk or tickets.plattsburgh.edu.

“Come get out of your comfort zone and support your friends,” Wearrien said. “Come see your peers, your friends and arguably your family showcase not only their looks, but their talents.”

Email Lisa Scivolette at fuse@cardinalpointsonline.com

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