by Catherine Brewer ’20
An aura of hope and new beginnings swirled in the air of the newly renovated Moore Hall the night of Saturday, Nov 11 for Providence College’s first H.O.M.E.coming. The student celebration of Moore Hall’s re-opening began with joyful voices of students which rivaled the music that pounded out of the cutting-edge speakers, creating a competition that was almost loud enough to make the crisply painted walls shake.
All in attendance seemed to carry with them a sense of respect—arespect for the tireless work of the student leaders who organized the gathering, and respect for the perseverance that fought for the foundation of the Center for Inclusive Excellence.
Marvin Taveras ’19, who is active in Providence College chapter of NAACP, OLAS, and the inaugural PC Step Team, explained that the event was pioneered by students who wanted to bring the community together in their own way. “The idea came about when there was word going around about Moore Hall getting a new name and Acklynn [Byamugisha ’20] came up with the name H.O.M.E. (House of Multicultural Education),” said Taveras. “That’s when the idea of H.O.M.E.coming was conceived, and I brought it up in an NAACP exec meeting and the rest was history.”
H.O.M.E.coming was advertised and officially sponsored by the PC NAACP and Office of Institutional Diversity; however, anticipation surrounding the event had been growing since the early stages of planning, and the collaboration of new ideas was widespread amongst various student organizations.
“I heard about the H.O.M.E.coming event through Congress and through a lot of my friends that were involved in the planning,” stated Sean Richardson ’20, president of the Class of 2020. “I was excited from the first stages of planning. I know Phionna [Claude ’18], our executive president of Student Congress, was very involved in the planning and made constant announcements within our meetings to get people excited, which she succeeded at.”
Beginning at 4 p.m., Moore Hall was filled with student-organized food, performances, music, and much more. In the front lobby, there was a station for students to have their own license plate printed, as well as the opportunity to watch artists work on the new mural. Admission was free and shirts celebrating the event were on sale for $10, which sold out quickly.
The crowd gathered in the Boulingy Lounge for the performances of the night. PC’s all-male A cappella group, Special Guest, kicked it off with several numbers, followed by impactful poetry readings from members of Believers of Words. The PC Step Team and Motherland Dance Group sent the audience wild and spread good vibrations through the building when they took the floor.
Steve Lawrence ’21 performed with the Footprints Gospel Choir and took the opportunity to perform as a solo vocalist while students waited for the food to be delivered. Lawrence exclaimed, “For my last performance, I felt that people needed to know about the Caribbean culture and to show our own folk songs and spirituals. I want others to know the other side of my culture. In addition, I want to emphasize that within my own race there is diversity.”
When the food arrived, students jumped out of their seats to fill a plate. The spread featured a wide variety of soul-warming, flavorful comfort food. Richardson exclaimed, “The food was amazing—but my favorite would have to be the fried plantains!” Lawrence raved about the macaroni and cheese, oxtail, and black rice.
Missed H.O.M.E.coming? The event was such a success that student leaders are already looking to make it an annual celebration. “As for the future of H.O.M.E.coming, everyone that had a hand in planning it hopes this becomes and yearly thing and new PC tradition,” said Taveras.
Additionally, while Moore Hall is still growing, students are encouraged to go and check it out. “One thing I love about Moore Hall is the excitement that came with it,” Richardson expressed. “Don’t get me wrong, I love the new facilities and classrooms, but I definitely get a sense that the student population is somewhat revitalized and with this new building new opportunities are coming and just provide major excitement for future activities.”
From a freshman perspective, Lawrence has dreams for Moore Hall, and the determination to achieve them. “I hope that Moore Hall becomes a place of inclusion and integration. I want this hall to be a place where it encourages the conversation about diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality, religion, and etc.,” he stated. “We may not agree to everything, but we can say that we are all humans deserving of love and respect. Moore Hall should be a place where all student voices should be heard and a place to learn about different cultures and ways of thinking.”
“As a student leader, I will most likely help with the events that are going on in Moore Hall,“ said Lawrence. ”I will continue to sing and dance about my culture. Hopefully, others will do the same.”