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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Washington, D.C.-based dance company Step Afrika! will perform at Northwest on Monday, Sept. 18. Tickets are now available.

Washington, D.C.-based dance company Step Afrika! will perform at Northwest on Monday, Sept. 18. Tickets are now available.

Sept. 8, 2017

Step Afrika! returning Sept. 18, highlights DEI office’s fall events

Updated Sept. 11, 2017

The world’s only professional dance company dedicated to the tradition of stepping is returning to Northwest Missouri State University.

Step Afrika! will perform at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, in the Mary Linn Auditorium at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. Advance tickets are $5 and may be purchased by contacting Northwest’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at 660.562.1317 or online by clicking here; tickets will be available at the door for $10.

The show is sponsored by the DEI as part of a series of events organized by the office throughout the fall trimester at the University.

A 1920s Jazz Speakeasy, sponsored by DEI on Friday night at the B.D. Owens Library, raised funding for students in need. In collaboration with ALIANZA, Northwest's Latino organization, the Three Amigos mariachi band will perform from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, at Bearcat Commons in the lower level of the J.W. Jones Student Union.

“Step Afrika! exemplifies the inclusive, culturally-integrated philosophy that the Northwest DEI team values and supports,” Dr. Juanita Simmons, Northwest’s vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, said. “Through these activities, we hope that all will see the common connections of all cultures through the beauty of art.”

Step Afrika! has established itself as one of the top African-American dance companies in the United States and as Washington, D.C.’s largest African-American arts organization.

The troupe promotes stepping – which involves using the body as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds through a combination of footsteps, claps and spoken word – and its use as an educational, motivational and healthy tool for young people.

Step Afrika! began as an exchange program with the Soweto Dance Theatre of Johannesburg, South Africa, and has expanded to become a national and international touring company presenting performance, residencies and workshops worldwide.

Visit for more information about Step Afrika! Details about other upcoming events sponsored by Northwest’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are provided below.

For more information about Northwest’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and its programs, contact Dr. Justin Mallett, director of diversity and inclusion, at 660.562.1317 or


Three Amigos

Friday, Sept. 15 (11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Student Union, Bearcat Commons)

The Three Amigos is a Kansas City-based mariachi band that performs popular mariachi tunes as well as songs from Central and South America, Cuba and the Caribbean. The group also specializes in salsa, Brazilian and tango music.



Friday, Oct. 6 (6:30 to 8 p.m., Centennial Garden)

To kick off a month of activities for LGBTQ, DEI will host a bonfire and offer s’mores.


National Coming Out Day Series

Monday, Oct. 9, through Wednesday, Oct. 11 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Student Union)

Leading up to National Coming Out Day, students are invited to write positive and encouraging quotes and messages to decorate the inside of a door. The door will encourage individuals who are not out to know they will be supported and encouraged. On National Coming Out Day, the door will stand open in the Student Union and display the notes of positivity and support.


International Dining Tasting

Friday, Oct. 13 (7 p.m., Student Union Ballroom)

Join the Office of Student Involvement for a free tasting event and sampling of desserts from throughout the world.


Game Night

Wednesday, Oct. 18 (6 to 9 p.m., Student Union, Student Engagement Center)

Northwest students are invited to enjoy an evening of entertainment with cards, board games and video game tournaments as well as a virtual reality station. Food and drinks will be provided.


“The Cherokee Diaspora: A History of Migration, Survival and Pride”

Wednesday, Nov. 8 (7 p.m., Ron Houston Center)

Gregory Smithers, an associate professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University, specializes in Native American history and is the author of “The Cherokee Diaspora: An Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity.” In this lecture, Smithers reveals for the first time the origins of the Cherokee Diaspora and takes the reader back to the 18th and 19th centuries to uncover the importance of migration and removal, land and tradition, and culture and language in defining what it meant to be Cherokee while living in diaspora.


International Education Week

Nov. 13-17, campus wide

International Education Week encourages students to understand living and working in a global environment. Students will have opportunities learn about studying abroad, sample international cuisine and learn about life as an international citizen through various lectures by Northwest faculty.


Transgender Day of Remembrance

Monday, Nov. 20, campus wide

This day of remembrance will include visual representations on sidewalks across campus. Students will also display posters in residence halls with information related to the transgendered population.


Celebration of Success

Saturday, Dec. 2 (6:30 to 9 p.m., Student Union)

Northwest will recognize the academic achievements of students of color. The celebration will include a dinner and keynote speaker.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468