La Mosaic: a term used to describe the mix of ethnicities and cultures within a single society. On Northwestern’s campus that name is taken quite literally. La Mosaic—commonly known by its nickname La Mo—is a multicultural campus club that focuses on bringing together students from all walks of life, in order to engage in conversation and deepen their understanding of and relationships with people of other cultures.
Most people recognize La Mo as the club that throws Holi—the Hindu spring festival—at the end of the year, where students gather on the green and throw colored powder at each other to celebrate the beginning of spring. But for those more familiar with La Mo, it means much more than that.
The leadership of the club changes every year, and so do the activities and conversations. This year, senior Tabbie Frey and sophomores Adebola Adeyemo and Chau Lee serve as the leaders of the group. With roots in Missouri, Ethiopia and Vietnam, respectively, the crew brings a variety of experiences and cultures to their roles.
“The nature of our current cultural environment is this idea of tolerance, but the goal of La Mosaic is not just to tolerate each other, but to learn how to actively be a beloved community,” Frey said. “It’s about much more than a buzzword. It’s really about seeking the flourishing of others.”
Nnenna Stephanie Nwaelugo, a junior international student from Ethiopia, values the conversations and relationships that have stemmed from her time as a member of La Mo.
“I think for some it provides a safe space,” Nwaelugo said. Not everyone feels comfortable talking about things that really matter to him or her out in the open, and this is kind of a place where they can do that. I like how there are so many different perspectives and people don’t seem afraid to talk about their opinions, so we talk about some deep stuff, like racism, sexism, mansplaining. Oh, and Trevor Noah.”
Since La Mosaic is all about learning from different cultures and experiences, there are no qualifications for who can or cannot join. Each meeting revolves around a different topic or issue. The goal is not to come to a consensus but rather to be open to differing opinions from others.
“More students should join because La Mosaic is based on the experiences of students, and we can’t do that if no one joins!” Frey said. “But actually, the whole point of La Mo is to come together and learn from one another, and so we can never have too many people.”
Frey’s co-leaders Lee and Adeyemo agreed with Frey’s sentiment. For this year, La Mo’s goal is to create a beloved community, playing on the word choice to emphasize the loving environment of the club.
“We wish to see more students because this is a great chance for everyone to step out of their comfort zone and interact with people different from them on a much deeper scale,” Lee said. “We wish to see beauty, but at the same time, brokenness. We strongly believe that a person will only grow when they are exposed to people or ideas that are different from theirs, yet find their own value and be a unique part of a big mosaic picture.”
La Mosaic meets at 9 p.m.. every Thursday in the Ramaker Fireside Room. Students interested in joining should feel free to attend. Plus, there are snacks.