Oncologist kicks off Kwanzaa celebration

Oncologist kicks off Kwanzaa celebration
December 28
03:00 2017

Throughout the week, residents from across the community are coming together to celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani.

The weeklong celebration kicked off on Tuesday, Dec. 26, at the Winston-Salem Urban League (WSUL) as more than 100 residents of all ages gathered to celebrate “Umoja” or unity.

Following the invocation and libation ceremony, Felicia Piggott-Long recognized the elders and asked for permission to continue the ceremony. After permission was granted, the keynote address was delivered by Wake Forest Baptist Health radiation oncologist Dr. Karen Winkfield.

During his introduction of Dr. Winkfield, WSUL CEO James Perry said when he first met Dr. Winkfield, he knew she was serious about the health of African-Americans in this community and across the country. Perry said, “When I started discussing some systems that are challenging black people, she immediately began to dive in. Not just to talk about it, but with ideas and ways to solve things.”

Along with practicing radiology here in Winston-Salem, Dr. Winkfield also works in the community to prevent behavior that can cause various forms of cancer. Before relocating to Winston-Salem, Dr. Winkfield worked in Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital.  While speaking to the crowd on Tuesday night, Dr. Winkfield said one of the things that brought her to Winston-Salem is her love for ensuring that everyone has the same opportunity to survive cancer and survive at life.

Following the keynote address, RaVonda Dalton-Rann and Ben Piggott were recognized for the dedication to uplift the community and promote Umoja. Dalton-Rann, who was unable to attend the event, retired last year from Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), where she served as executive assistant to the chancellor and university secretary for 15 years. She has also held positions as a college administrator, television promotion officer and school teacher and served on several nonprofit boards in the area.

When discussing Dalton-Rann’s contributions to the Winston-Salem community and her time spent at WSSU Cheryl Harry, Triad Culture Arts founder and CEO said, “She always worked to ensure that WSSU was a part of the community.”

Ben Piggott is most known for his time spent with the Winston-Salem Recreation and Parks Department. Through countless programs, including Peace Toys for War Toys, Bingo for Turkeys and the annual Happy Hill Reunion, Piggott has touched the lives of thousands of children in the area. After accepting the award from Cheryl Harry and James Perry, Piggott said he is just a product of his community.

“It was the community that made me. Anyone that is trying to uplift our children, I’m willing to work with you,” Piggott said.

To wrap up the opening night of Kwanzaa, Otesha Creative Arts Ensemble preformed and even got some of the crowd involved.

The local Kwanzaa celebration hosted by Triad Cultural Arts (TCA) will continue at various venues throughout the city.

On Wednesday, Dec. 27 the principle “Kujichagulia” or self-determination was celebrated at the Delta Fine Arts Center, where Aliza Digg-Bailey delivered the keynote address and local photographer Owen Daniels was honored for his work in the community.

Today TCA is encouraging the community to volunteer at a local nonprofit for the “Ujima” or collective work and responsibility principle.

Friday, Dec. 29, at 4 p.m. at the Brown and Douglass Recreation Center, 4725 Indiana Ave., youth and adult cultural and African dance performances will be featured under the principle “Ujamaa” or cooperative economics. At 6 p.m. at the Carl Russell Recreation Center, 3521 Carver Road, a Business Showcase and Vendor’s Market will be held and Jerry Hanes will be honored.

On Saturday, Dec. 30, at 6 p.m. at Grace Presbyterian Church, 3901 Carver School Road, the Rev. Toure C. Marshall will be honored under the “Nia” or purpose principle.

On Sunday, Dec. 31, at 3 p.m. at Forsyth County Public Library, 660 W. Fifth St., Kathryn Mobley will be honored under the “Kuumba”  or creativity principle.

On Monday, Jan. 1, TCA says “families are encouraged to come together to reaffirm the best of our traditions, sweep away fear of the unknown and past regrets, and resolve to meet each day with active faith” under the Imani principle or faith.

For a complete list of venues for the local Kwanzaa celebration visit

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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