Pierce College debuted the Multicultural Center by hosting a soft opening with the “We Love Black History” event, honoring Black History month with the inclusion of Valentine’s Day festivities on Feb 14.
Students and faculty were invited to snack on cupcakes and coffee while also sharing the importance of Black history.
Activities included participants writing their thoughts and perspectives on flashcards about why they love and appreciate Black history. The cards were pinned on the Multicultural Center’s community bulletin board.
Student Large Jordan Goosby spoke about how a student’s sense of community has an important impact on both cultural and self expression.
“Social issues in general are about networking. The more community you have, or build, it allows people to have hope, and hope is in relation to freedom,” Goosby said. “So just the idea of being with people who understand and respect your identity, and cherish your culture, it gives you a different perspective of the world.”
Attendees reflected on their own learning and social experiences involving Black history and spoke about the positive impact events such as this have on the Pierce College community. Student worker Tiana Gregoryona discussed how she attended the event in an effort to show unity.
“I am not part of the Black community, but I just learned that we are always learning white history, we are always learning the history of the majority, we are always learning the history of the people in power,” said Gregoryona. “So, Black history month is important to me because those are the voices that have been historically silenced– historically marginalized.”
Students discussed how having a period of time dedicated to those who were historically oppressed and still face generational discrimination is one of the many ways to consciously acknowledge past atrocities and devastations.
“African Americans dwell in the lowest caste system of society, the presence in societal recognition gives individuals the ability to extend empathy towards those who are universally demonized,” Goosby said.
The event struck many conversations, for individuals such as Sophomore student Illiana Pride, it further demonstrated how the creation of these events allow students to feel seen and heard.
“Being an African American, it’s important to see yourself represented,” Pride said.
The event also included candid discussions about having a newfound appreciation for Black history month.
Student Isabela Vieryra discussed how events that involve active discussions allow students to better appreciate various communities and cultures.
“It makes people think about what they actually appreciate about Black history month, and the people it is supposed to uplift.” said Vieyra
Event organizer Tatevik Melkumyan spoke about how hosting an event that highlights Black History month is one of the core reasons for opening the Multicultural Center in the first place.
“I am really excited to be doing this as our first event, to acknowledge Black History month. It is really important to be able to celebrate all of the different cultures, acknowledge their struggles and bring all of the students together.” Melkumyan said.
The Multicultural Center’s grand opening will take place on Feb. 28. The center will continue to hold events geared towards representing various cultures and encourage student interaction, in Pierce College’s effort towards campus inclusivity.