Nommo Celebrates 50 years of History

Mahala Herron News

The James West Alumni Center was the site of joyous celebration for the Nommo News Magazine community. On November 22nd, a diverse group of students and faculty graced the room to celebrate the prestigious history of the first cultural publication at a primarily white institution (PWI). Nommo, meaning the Power of Word in Swahilli, perfectly encapsulates what the student writers and contributors of the magazine understand.

Mahala Herron (left) and Lance WIlliams (right)

To jump start the celebration, I opened up to discuss what Nommo means to me. I credited my beginnings at UCLA Radio as a platform for Nommo, and I thanked them for allowing News Magazines a position to further diverse narratives. To speak better to this matter, was one of the founding members of Nommo, Lance Williams, who suggested the name Nommo. 

Lance Williams, one of the founders of the magazine, one of the three guest speakers. He gave critical history about Nommo’s foundation, further sharing how he came up with the name. He shared how he was looking for a creative outlet when he originally decided to participate in the beginnings of the magazine. Arvli Ward (Student Media Director ‘95-’16 and former Nommo writer) and Anthony Jackson (Editor-in-Chief ‘81-’83) also gave takeaway insight on topics such as creativity and unity. Jackson touched on fostering revolution through creativity, encouraging students to talk about revolution more often. Students reported feeling inspired after hearing the keynote speakers.

Nommo student event go-ers

What is to be gathered from the warm-hearted event, is the legacy and monumental history of Nommo News Magazine. During Nommo’s history, students have interviewed distinguished activist Angela Davis, the world famous Muhammad Ali, and more. In addition, members of the Nommo alumni community include the award winning director, Ava Duvernay. As students continue to create, we contribute to history and reshape the narrative of journalism, blackness, UCLA and beyond.