Event to showcase African drumming by Vassar students and young girls from Poughkeepsie. Friday, December 5, 2008

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—The Sistah Power program will host its fifth “We Play Drums” celebration on the second floor of the Students’ Building on Friday, December 5, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  During the event, Vassar students and nine to 12-year-old girls from Poughkeepsie will present African dance and drumming pieces they learned during the fall semester and share their experiences participating in the program. The event is free and open to the public.

Showcasing African dance and drumming that the participants in the program have learned throughout the semester, the celebration also highlights the bond established between the young girls in the program and the Vassar students who lead activities with them throughout the semester.

Since the beginning of the fall semester, the Vassar students and young girls from the Girl Scouts of Dutchess County and different schools in the City of Poughkeepsie School District have rehearsed each Thursday and Friday at the Warring Magnet Academy in Poughkeepsie and at Vassar. Aside from drumming, participants in the program acted out stories, wrote and memorized empowering lyrics, and learned to bead and create masks.

“The program provides a feminist education on female development and community bonding to the Vassar students who mentor the young girls on empowerment while participating in the activities,” explained Jocelyn Tejeda, associate director for Campus Life/ALANA Programs at Vassar.

Gabrielle Phillip, member of the class of 2008, emphasized how the the Sistah Power program had helped her explore the power of friendship. “Throughout the last 10 weeks, I forged 20 wonderful friendships,” she said.

Sistah Power is a collaborative effort between the Vassar Campus Life Office, the Women’s Studies Program at Vassar College and the Girl Scouts of Dutchess County.

People with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, November 26, 2008