The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday May 31st

O.A.S.I.S highlights African entrepreneurship through gala

<p>Photo courtesy of&nbsp;Damola Akintunde</p>
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Photo courtesy of Damola Akintunde

The Organization for African Students’ Interests and Solidarity, or O.A.S.I.S., provides a little oasis of its own for its members. 

Senior Olivia Howes, co-president of O.A.S.I.S., said the organization’s mission is to light the way to the African continent by spreading knowledge and awareness through events and meetings.

One event that will do so is the organization’s annual gala, which will take place Saturday at 7 p.m. in the FedEx Global Education Center. 

The gala, now in its fourth year, is open to everyone. Individual tickets are $12 and couples tickets are $20, and formal wear is required. 

O.A.S.I.S. ACTS! is the branch in charge of planning the gala. They also dedicate time to community service and advocacy.

ACTS! chairperson Yaa Ofori-Marfoh, a senior psychology major, said they have been planning the event for a while. Although the planning is intensive, it’s been worth it. 

“I think the gala is a big way in which we are trying to implement our goal and our mission and to adhere to it,” she said.

This year's gala theme is African entrepreneurship. 

Through an interactive night full of catered food, entrepreneurial speakers and dancing, O.A.S.I.S. will explore how African entrepreneurship relates to the culture and the continent.

“We’re facilitating learning through discussion,” Ofori-Marfoh said. “We want people to go home and feel like they took something worthwhile from the gala.”

Junior Kristen Ellis, assistant for the ACTS! committee, said the night is meant to be a fun experience that can be shared with friends. 

“For the price of the ticket, it’s a really great experience to learn about the culture,” Ellis said.

In previous years, the money earned from gala ticket sales would go toward a specific cause. However, due to new institutional policies, O.A.S.I.S. is using this year’s gala as a fundraiser to raise money for the organization.

Beyond the fun events, Howes said, O.A.S.I.S. provides a much deeper space for members like her to feel at home.

“It just feels like family and a community and one that I’m comfortable in,” Howes said. 

“It’s special to find something in college like a space to be yourself.”


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