Traditional African dress is encouraged at the annual Kwanzaa celebration at Mary Baldwin.

Mary Baldwin University will observe Kwanzaa on January 19 with a program honoring African-American heritage. The annual event, celebrated at Mary Baldwin in late January to accommodate winter break, features dancing, skits, and other art forms while students explain the principles of Kwanzaa. New members of the Ida B. Wells Society — an honor society that celebrates students for academic achievement, leadership, community service, sisterhood, cultural diversity, and awareness — will also be inducted. This year’s celebration, according to organizers, will include a new art form to celebrate the African diaspora and a tribute to “Queen of Salsa,” Celia Cruz. The Office of Inclusive Excellence and PERSIST Program, sponsors of the event, invite the public and welcome traditional African attire. The program is set to begin at 7 p.m. in Lyda B. Hunt Dining Hall. Elders are encouraged to arrive by 6:45 p.m. for special seating.