Skip To Main Content
Join Us at the Puma Heritage Celebration on November 3
  • Community
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

At the Puma Heritage Celebration, attendees can expect food from around the world, conversation, and sharing and performances from our students, families, faculty, and staff.

Join Us at the Puma Heritage Celebration on November 3
​​​​​​​This annual event celebrates community and everyone is welcome

Our annual celebration of the many cultures within our school community has a new name. The Puma Heritage Celebration, formally known as Culture Night, will take place in the UPrep Commons from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 3. Like previous celebrations, attendees can expect food from around the world, conversation, and sharing and performances from our students, families, faculty, and staff.

“As we continue to expand our diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) programming, there are multiple nights where heritage is shared and celebrated. In that light, the old name didn’t feel like it fit anymore,” says Taylor Kanemori, director of DEIB.

People in our community suggested names and voted at last year’s Culture Night. Puma Heritage Celebration received the most votes. “I think adding ‘Puma’ makes it known that we are celebrating the heritages we have here within our own community,” said Taylor.

She noted one change for this year’s event. “Everyone will receive a passport at the entrance, which attendees can have stamped at the sharing tables. We will also have a list of prompts that people can use to ask questions at the tables so we can be intentional about our conversations,” Taylor said.

UPrep Parent/Guardian Association Diversity and Community Liaison Cassady Glass Hastings said the Puma Heritage Celebration is one of her favorite UPrep events. “It’s a multicultural, multigenerational celebration. Students are proud to share their cultural heritage with their peers and their families,” she said. “The atmosphere is so festive and there’s a lot of laughter.”

Eighth grade student Nadia M.-D. performed at last year’s event (pictured below). “It was nice to share my family’s culture with the rest of the community,” she said.

A UPrep student performs at Culture Night 2023

Nadia performed a dance that originated from Togo in West Africa; her family is from Togo. People perform this dance at a yearly festival there. “I think being part of the event is a a way to express your family’s heritage and culture and what you grew up with. It’s good to share and have fun with it, so people know there are many different cultures that can be appreciated within our community,” she said.

Taylor believes that when a person reveals parts of themselves, both the person who is sharing and the listener feel more welcome. “When people feel safe enough to share parts of themselves, that makes all of us feel more comfortable with each other,” she said. “We feel more connected, and it strengthens our community.”

Headshot photograph of University Prep writer and editor, Nancy Alton

By Writer/Editor Nancy Schatz Alton

Read more about the UPrep community.



More from UPrep