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‘The community is built by everyone:’ Lipanda Day Festival planned in Monmouth

The Lipanda Day Festival celebrates diversity in west central Illinois and coincides with Congolese Independence Day at the end of June.

The Monmouth City Council approved a request for the festival to be in downtown Monmouth this year, after it has been in Galesburg the last two years.

Gorette Kupa, executive director of the Lipanda Foundation, said there are large African populations in both communities.

“We want to make that connection and just thank people that we are together. The community is built by everyone,” Kupa said.

The Lipanda Foundation provides language training, housing and job assistance, and other resources for French-speaking African immigrants arriving in the area.

Kupa said Lipanda Day represents freedom and the festival is a way to bring people together to learn from each other, while supporting the work of the Lipanda Foundation.

“The main goal of this festival is to support everything and the activities we do. So by people participating in the festival it just helps us raising some money so we can move forward in helping people,” Kupa said.

This year’s Lipanda Day Festival is planned for 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 29, in downtown Monmouth.

There will be cultural demonstrations, food, and live music.

Kupa said people from all communities and backgrounds are invited to attend.
Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jane Carlson is TSPR's regional reporter.