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Founded in 2019 by Ife Michelle Gardin, Kulturally LIT began as a yearly book festival, Elm City LIT Fest, and a monthly podcast. Now, Kulturally LIT also produces Diasporacon, a yearly conference on careers in the graphic novel industry for the diaspora, working with the City of New Haven to select the first New Haven poet laureate, and the inaugural Diaspora Book Awards.

Our mission is to cultivate awareness around the Arts within the African Diaspora, with a focus in literary arts. With faith, unity, creativity, and determination, we honor and celebrate the African Diaspora and the communities we create.


Kulturally Lit’s core is the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa: UMOJA (Unity), KUJICHAGULIA (Self-Determination), UJIMA (Collective Work & Responsibility), UJAAMA (Cooperative Economics), NIA (Purpose), KUUMBA (Creativity), and IMANI (Faith).

Our purpose is to merge these principles into our global community by producing celebrations, conferences, festivals, workshops and retreats that inspire self-awareness and honor the African Diaspora. We strive to shift the paradigm of how people of the African Diaspora value themselves and how others perceive and respond to its culture.


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