This week at UMass: Monday, Jan. 27 to Sunday, Feb. 2

Friend speed dating, a day-long yoga workshop and a talent showcase


(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

By Abigail Charpentier, News Editor

The following are five highlights of what’s happening on the University of Massachusetts campus and surrounding community from Monday, Jan. 27 to Sunday, Feb. 2.

Friend Speed Dating

The Women of Color Leadership Network is hosting two “friend speed dating” events, each to be filled with fun conversations and community building. The first session will take place in the Berkshire Room in Berkshire Dining Commons from 5:30 – 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27. The second session will take place in the Malcolm X Cultural Center from 5:30 – 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., w/ Damien Sneed

Damien Sneed will visit the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. to pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. with his show “We Shall Overcome.” His performance will blend the spoken works of King with music and culture that includes traditional gospel, modern gospel, classical, jazz, Broadway and spirituals. Stephanie Shonekan, chair of the UMass W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, will also give a pre-performance talk at 6:30 p.m. in the FAC Lobby. Admission for UMass and Five College students costs $10.

Luminaria 2020 – Fire & Ice

The Amherst Business Improvement District is kicking off WinterFest on Saturday, Feb. 1 with its Luminaria event. Thousands of glowing candles donated by Yankee Candle will illuminate the Amherst Town Common from 5 – 8 p.m., where The Amherst College DQ and Cajordion will perform live music, Rob Kimmell will be doing live ice sculpting and food trucks will be available. There will also be face painting, fire juggling and more entertainment by Matica Circus.

Be The Change: A Day-long Immersion into the Practice of Yoga and Meditation

Students can practice yoga, meditation, reflection and journaling at Be The Change: A Day-long Immersion into the Practice of Yoga and Meditation on Sunday, Feb. 2. From 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. National experts Rolf Gates and Kate Johnson will hold “a day-long retreat designed to provide a deep sense of calm and a rich toolkit for cultivating self-regulation amidst an often dysregulated world” in the Campus Center Auditorium. Admission for UMass and Five College students costs $20 and no yoga experience is necessary.

Celebrating Diversity

The Rang Acapella group is hosting a small talent showcase in the Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall on Sunday, Feb. 2 from 1 – 3 p.m. Individuals as well as UMass groups, including the Indian Classical Arts Society, KPop Dance Club, Gospel Choir and more, can perform in a comfortable space and make a statement for acceptance and diversity and speak up against the recent hate-driven events.

Abigail Charpentier can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @abigailcharp.