The Marcus Garvey Cultural Center quickly fills with people eager to grab some food and shelter from the cold. A small crowd of students gather 15 minutes before the event itself. Students and staff laugh and mingle with each other. After food is served, Director Talia Carroll walks around the center checking in on people, making sure they feel comfortable. Hip-hop and R&B blast loudly in the background. White and dark meat is served with Louisiana hot sauce to complement the chicken. Whipped cream, fruit and syrup are served along with a fruity drink that tastes like sherbert.
The MGCC hosted Food for the Soul: Chicken and Waffles on Wednesday. This event was part of the Garvey’s annual celebration of Black Heritage Month. This luncheon took place along with other events throughout the month. Previous events include alumni events, movie nights, Zumba, and other similar food events such as Soul Food night.
Every year during the month of February the MGCC coordinates events to celebrate Black Heritage Month. Events like these are vital to the campus because it gives students new experiences.
Celeste Blair, a freshman sociology major, is part of the student staff. She is a cultural activities coordinator of the center, and her job is to help pick events and put them together. Blair coordinated the events for Black Heritage Month, and is putting together other events for the rest of the semester.
Blair was initially drawn to the Garvey because she was surrounded by people who wanted to see her succeed in school.
“It felt like a home away from home,” Blair said.
Blair said events like these are important for the community, not just by showing service, but bringing people together in general.
“You can bring people together just by having food. It’s really crazy just how much you get out of just serving food, and just being in the community and doing something free for everybody,” Blair said.
Events like these can also help students on campus by providing a safe space for marginalized groups.
“Because this is a predominantly white college, it’s good to have cultural centers that can cater to everyone, but at the same time cater to minority students,” Blair said.
Ashley McFadden, a senior mathematics student agrees with Blair. McFadden was at the event doing an assignment for her leadership class. It was her first time at the Garvey, and she plans on visiting more.
“Events like these are important because it can let everyone know what minorities go through on campus,” McFadden said.
Talaya Banks, a senior psychology major and cultural activities coordinator wants everyone to know more about the general services of the center.
“We have resources and we are here to help,” Banks said.
Marcus Garvey Cultural Center: http://www.unco.edu/marcus-garvey-cultural-center/