Shades of Africa is a student organization that seeks to unite African students and non-African students by facilitating interaction through activities and events. They strive to create cultural and social awareness for all students at ETSU.

Emmanuel Ayodeji Ajomo, Educational Media and Technology student, is president of this organization.

“I believe in the greatness of Africa as a continent,” said Ajobo about why he is passionate about working with Shades of Africa.

ETSU has a diverse presence of African cultures on campus, and Shades of Africa works to promote greater understanding of this diversity. They encourage the ability to communicate and share about cultures, which they believe can resulting in breaking down stereotypes and fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding.

Ajomo got involved with Shades of Africa after interacting with them at the fall 2017 orientation. He was elected to serve as president this year.

“I have seen a lot accomplished in a year as president,” said Ajomo. “Shades of Africa, as a student organization under the leadership of myself and my incredible team, has been able to put to the letter all the organization speaks about in its mission statement and goals.”

One of their signature events this semester was African Night, in which they combined education and fun to bring more awareness and understanding of the culture, art and traditions of Africa. This event featured dance, music, poetry, pageantry and drama.

“We had in attendance faculty and staff from ETSU, students, people from multicultural background and the local community,” said Ajomo of the event. “To me it was an honor to have worked with my team to unite Africans and non-Africans.”

Shades of Africa also started the Multicultural Soccer Tournament this semester, built new connections with other African student associations in other Tennessee universities and worked with other organizations on campus, such as SGA, ISA, Black Affairs and Sigma Sigma Rho.

“The goal is to accomplish much more in the coming years, building bridges over stereotypes and fostering an atmosphere of understanding and mutual respect,” said Ajomo.