The 24th annual Yam Festival, a beloved Westridge tradition, returned to campus on the Friday before Thanksgiving break with a school-wide, yam-themed feast! Founded in 1998 by a planning committee from the Families of Black Students at Westridge (FOBSAW), Yam Festival celebrates the diversity of our community through shared cuisines and delicious dishes featuring the yam as the main ingredient (yams are grown on every continent in the world and are a major food product harvested during this time of year).
In anticipation of Yam Festival, students across campus learned about the origins and significance of the event on Wednesday this week. Upper School students had a Yamfest-themed town meeting—featuring Sophie C. '25 dressed in the iconic Westridge yam costume. They heard from Black Student Union leaders and watched a video from Yamfest founder Akila Gibbs.
"Yam Festival is my favorite event of the year because it highlights the cultural diversity within our Westridge community and the different affinities," said Ileia G. '22, co-head of Black Student Union. Her grandmother, Clara Hill-Williams, was part of a Families of Black Students at Westridge committee that helped launch Yam Festival in 1998. Ileia said it's very gratifying to see everyone come together creating community over food.
Lower and Middle School students also took part in the yam-themed activities by writing what they are grateful for on paper yam cutouts, which are currently on display around campus. Mrs. Houser's 5th grade class was thankful for all sorts of things and people. Alyse L. '29 said she was thankful for doctors and her family while her classmate said she was thankful to be having a good week. Other answers included education, food, and friends.
Check out the photos from Yam Festival here.