Kwanzaa celebration raises money for Yonkers nonprofit

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YONKERS -

African heritage and culture were on display in Yonkers Wednesday for the start of Kwanzaa.

People lived up to the meaning of "umoja," the Swahili word for unity at the Nepperhan Community Center, as people came together to raise money for Sister to Sister International.

Sister to Sister empowers women and girls of African descent through advocacy, education and the promotion of African culture.

The proceeds from the celebration with benefit Sister to Sister's STEAM camp, which helps girls of color develop skills for careers in science and math.

"Girls of color in general are very, very under-represented in the STEAM fields, so what we do is we have developed a pipeline from middle school, to high school, to college, to careers," says Sister to Sister founder Cheryl Brannan.

About 8,000 girls have gone through the program so far.

Kwanzaa was created decades ago on principles that include unity, responsibility, purpose and faith.

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