JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Students, faculty, and staff at Arkansas State University spent their Tuesday evening giving thanks.
Members of the Multicultural Center decided they wanted to host the "Day of Thanksgiving Dinner."
Director of the Multicultural Center, Dr. Evette Allen said they decided to hold the event for a couple of reasons.
"This event has two purposes, we definitely wanted to honor those stories and traditions of native and indigenous people," Dr. Allen said. "This week is Thanksgiving and a lot of people are celebrating, but often there's only one story told. So, we wanted to make sure the story of native and indigenous people are told on this day. The second purpose is there are students who are when you think about the theme of inclusion, not everyone gets to go home and be with family and friends. So, we wanted to open up space where A State students and faculty and staff could come together and say let's hang out with our A-State family."
Dr. Allen said the idea came from a staff member.
"One of our staff, Rachel Hendrix had the idea to celebrate these stories of indigenous people," Dr. Allen said. "As well as students who didn't go home to have this celebration together. So, that's how this idea began. We ran with it. Started planning some things and making some calls. And now, we're here."
The event was held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dr. Allen said she hoped those who participated took away a sense of camaraderie and additional information about a subject they might have thought they already knew all about.
"We hope students get an educational piece of information hearing the stories of indigenous and native people. We have some information about them so we hope they get that full story about what was really happening during that harvest time and why we celebrate Thanksgiving," Dr. Allen said. "Again, sometimes there's only one story told. And so, we hope they get some educational pieces today, as well as a full stomach."
Dr. Allen said they hope to make this an annual event that grows from year to year.
"I think it's one of those things, in your first year, people are just hearing about it. But hopefully in the future, if this is something that students want. If students want it, we will do it. So, as long as students want it, it will happen."
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