In a move that further enhances its longtime presence at one of Michigan’s premier cultural festivals, Wayne State University has signed on as an official sponsor of the 37th African World Festival, an annual three-day celebration of black culture held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.
While Wayne State volunteers long have been a fixture at the event, this year’s sponsorship marks an even richer investment, as the university continues to heighten its community engagement efforts and underscore its commitment to diversity. The festival, which draws more than 150,000 visitors annually, will be held from Aug. 16-18.
“Beyond just a cultural gathering, the African World Festival is an integral part of the life of Detroit and an important celebration of the diversity, vibrancy and history of its people,” said Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson. “The Wright is a critical part of the larger Wayne State campus community. Wayne State has always supported the festival, and this year we are honored to broaden that support.”
As part of its sponsorship, Wayne State will host a “Health Is Wealth” tent at the front of the museum grounds to provide festivalgoers with critical information about wellness, health disparities, treatment and other key health issues.
Moreover, President Wilson will participate in the “Honoring Our Elders & Ancestors” presentation, which will celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights icon Judge Damon Keith, who passed away on April 28.
As in years past, Wayne State will also set up educational outreach tents to provide attendees with an abundance of information about the university and its academic offerings. The university will also increase branded signage at the event, with its name and logo displayed on informational pillars, festival T-shirts, on the main stage, in museum’s newsletter and on its website. Wayne State will also promote the festival on its social media feeds in the weeks leading up to the event.