Your Student Life: Mwendo

March 26, 2024

Throughout the years, the African American Heritage Festival has become a staple here at The Ohio State University and larger Columbus community. The mission of the festival is to promote and provide a space for community, visibility, creativity, and education at The Ohio State University and in the greater Columbus Community. 

We also aim to commemorate and build upon the legacy of the African and African American experience. This year, the 46th AAHF, centers around the word "Mwendo," which in Swahili means Progress! This year’s weeklong festival includes the following events:

  • Townhall Thursday - April 4, 2024; 5-9 p.m. 
    We invite the Ohio State and Columbus communities to me together for dinner and discuss topics concerning the Black community. Inspired by Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk show, topics discussed include social justice, intersecting identities and current issues. 
  • Fest Friday: Savor the Flavor- April 5, 2024, 5-7 p.m.
    This year’s Fest Friday’s theme is Savor the Flavor, and will provide a taste of Black OSU, featuring food, crafts, and music from different regions the Black diaspora.
  • Fest on the Block: Battle of the Decades- April 6, 2024, 6-9 p.m. 
    Battle of the Decades is a block party highlighting and celebrating the progression of cultural music over the years. Through Dj and rap battles, as well as mandatory costumes, we will show our love and appreciation for music and its therapeutic effect on the black community.
  • Gospel Fest- April 7, 2024, 5-7 p.m. 
    Gospel Fest reimagines this year’s theme, Mwendo (progress). Performers will showcase gospel music through the ages and show how it has changed as a genre and demonstrate its influence on other genres over time. In appreciation of black gospel/church culture, attendees can walk a red carpet and show off their “Sunday’s Best.”
  • OSU Reads- April 12, 2024 (closed event)
    OSU Reads is a day dedicated to highlighting literacy or elementary Columbus City School students. Students will travel to Ohio State’s campus and engage in activities that encourage unity, creative expression and reading. This is a closed event. Volunteer opportunities will be announced for those who may be interested!
  • Mahogany Moments: Rhythm of the Renaissance- April 13, 2024, 5-10 p.m. 
    Mahogany Moments is a black-tie award event for the Ohio State community, celebrating Black excellence. This event displays talent, including vocalists, jazz musicians, visual artists, and spoken word poets. Mahogany Moments will award Black student leaders who have displayed the characters of focus, determination, and progression.

For more details on the festival, including the history and key personnel, please visit or contact the committee at

African American Heritage Festival Committee

Office of Student Life