ALANA is a multicultural club at ENC that showcases the unity of African-American, Latino, Native-American, and Asian cultures. The group has been a flourishing on-campus club for the past three years under SGA, but it has been a student-led organization at ENC for more than five years.
This has been a controversial club since its implementation, with critics citing that ALANA is only for students of “color” or that Caucasian students are not allowed to come to the events ALANA holds. In the past three years since becoming a standard club under SGA, ALANA’s members have worked extremely hard to eradicate that negative connotation.
“Once everyone stops focusing on the stigma that ALANA is only for black students, this is when we can begin to realize that ALANA is for everyone. I believe everyone has a culture, and has the right to share it with their community,” club president Dounia Balan said.
The purpose of ALANA is to provide a multicultural haven where different cultures are welcomed, recognized, and practiced, so that students can reconnect and freely express their cultures.
“My experience with ALANA last year taught me that sometimes we can mistakenly believe that spaces and forums for dialogue about difficult issues related to race and culture as being places where only certain voices are welcome. Having the chance to participate in some conversations in ALANA last year helped me learn much more about the issues and discussions that affect a wide variety of students on ENC’s campus,” Chris Estep said.
ALANA also practices its mission in three ways: being intentional in creating conversations, examining different cultures from various perspectives, and connecting the community through multicultural activities.
“Though we are known for pushing our campus to speak about tough cultural topics, and putting [ENC] on the spot, we really want people to not be afraid to engage with what makes us all culturally different, but also connects us together,” states Administrative Assistant of ALANA Alec Daniel. “But in order to do that, we have to be honest and open about our cultural differences.”
ALANA is not only for one race or culture, but for all who wish to connect through the cultural differences that form the ENC community.