To mark its 40th anniversary, the Paul Robeson Cultural Center is spending this week with activities for undergraduates and alumni.
Prior to being established in 1972, the PRCC was the student-run Black Cultural Center. Located in the former Walnut building, the BCC was a place for black students to call their own and receive support in all areas of college life.
In 1972, the center was renamed after Paul Robeson. Robeson was an activist who spoke over 12 languages and worked toward humanitarian efforts, among other things.
On its website, the PRCC acknowledges its namesake and continues to “emphasize the diversity of the historic, current and future roles of African American culture, reflecting the way in which this diversity intersects, overlaps, and complements the cultures of Latino, African, Asian/Pacific Islander, Caribbean, European, and the Indigenous peoples of America.”
Initially, the PRCC planned to commemorate its 40th anniversary by hosting a banquet and fundraiser to assist with their development fund. This fund is used to assist students who may be unable to pay their rent or be hindered in a similar way, PRCC Director Carlos Wiley said.
However, the center did not want to exclude the current students from this celebration and brainstormed ideas for student involvement, Wiley said.
Monday and Tuesday included board game and trivia nights. Today, the PRCC is giving away commemorative T-shirts to the first 40 students. Otherwise, they can be purchased for $4 each.
They will have an ice cream social, where ice cream is free for the first 40 students and 40 cents to all others on Thursday.
A 1972 theme dance will be held Friday night, as well. T-shirts from Wednesday will also serve as admission to Friday’s dance. Otherwise, entrance is $4 per person.
Some students did not know the PRCC existed before they heard the news of these events.
This was the case for students Ashlin Becker, Cameron Miller (freshman-psychology), Heather Kohr, and Sara Murphy (sophomore-mechanical engineering). All agreed they would look into the center after hearing about its events.
“I think it’s a good way to get people involved and find out what [the center] actually is,” Becker (freshman-premedicine) said.
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