University of Rhode Island multicultural organization Uhuru Sasa (SASA) is set to hold its annual “Shake it for Sugar dance contest this Thursday in hopes to raise money for the American Diabetes Association.

This event was started by a group of students who didn’t feel like it had anyone to represent it. Now, this event is an annual philanthropy event for SASA, a multicultural organization on campus that works to spread diversity to students. Regina Sarpong, URI senior and president of SASA, and Glayna Joachim, URI junior and secretary of SASA, are both very excited to be working together on the event.

The event is a dance-a-thon that lasts approximately two hours, Sarpong explained. She said that “Shake it for Sugar is an annual event, and originated based on the organizations knowledge of people of color who were being diagnosed with diabetes. She said that people were being diagnosed with diabetes based off of factors such as poor diets and poor eating habits because they came from homes that could not provide healthy eating habits (read the full guide).

Our organization was aware of all this, Sarpong said. They wanted to create a philanthropy event to not only support this cause, but to show what this organization stands for.

Last year, when SASA hosted Shake It For Sugar, they had about 20 attendees, including their members, participate in the event and they raised a little over a $150 towards the American Diabetes Association. Sarpong and Joachim described the event as a great time with great people.

I feel like the people that did participate really did enjoy themselves, Sarpong said. Especially the winners we had because they literally were going over an hour-and-a-half just straight dancing.

Sarpong said some of the themes and genres played for dancers to enjoy include ‘90s music, choreographed dances, freeze-style dances and more to keep the dancers moving and having a good time. The final winner will receive a prize at the end of the dance contest.

Joachim said that she has people in her life who have diabetes and explained how she thinks of them while holding this event. She said that each year that this event is held she hopes that they can make a difference and help find a way to make life a little easier for those who have diabetes.

This is not just a fundraiser for us where we are just banking on the money, Sarpong said. It is us doing something to service our community and give back. I hope it just gets bigger and bigger each year.

Shake it for Sugar will take place Thursday, Nov. 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Hardge Forum of the Multicultural Center. Participants from any age, shape or size can bust their dance moves until the last person is standing. Each participant is asked to donate $1 at the door and those interested in just watching are asked to donate $2.

Uhuru Sasas meetings are held every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in room 318 of the Memorial Union.