Students picking what dishes they want to eat from that the community members had brought. | Photo by Delaney Duarte

Food for the soul

The Arcata community and HSU students come together for an Equity Potluck

The Arcata community and Humboldt students come together for an Equity Potluck

The Equity Arcata’s “Home Away From Home Potluck” brought many people within the community of Arcata. The potluck, organized by community members of Arcata, invited HSU students to enjoy a free soul food meal.

Free donated house goods for the students that attend HSU. | Photo by Delaney Duarte

The event was located at the Neighborhood Center on D St. in Arcata from 5-7 p.m. on Feb. 10. Community members brought one soul food dish of their choosing to put out for the students, they also collected donations of household items to give out to the students.

“A lot of students don’t get off campus. So when they come to these events…they feel even more welcomed into the community.”

Christian Boyd

Christian Boyd, a second year student at HSU majoring in political science, is the youngest diversity coordinator for Equity Arcata. She recruited the majority of students to come to this event.

“This event is to create a more equitable space between community members and students, mainly for students of color to get a feel of the community and who’s apart of the community,” Boyd said. “A lot of students don’t get off campus, so when they come to these events and meet community members and see what they do for them, they feel even more welcomed into the community.”

Students and community members indulge in food and conversation on Feb. 10. | Photo by Dajonea Robinson

There were over 100 students that attended the event. Some students even shared seating because there weren’t enough chairs for all of them.

Wesley Chesbro, a 1974 HSU alumni, is a volunteer co-coordinator for the Equity Arcata organization. Chesbro said that the potlucks started in the fall of 2017 and typically 30-40 community members volunteer and 75-150 students participate.

“A group of community members had felt that it is important to show in a real way that students of color not only belong here, but we really want them here,” Chesbro said. “It is said that food is love so it is a way of showing our love and appreciation that without the students we would be nobody.”

HSU students lined up to choose their likings. | Photo by Delaney Duarte

The organization had live music and raffles as entertainment for the event. The event had a variety of soul food such as sweet potatoes, ham, cornbread and much more. Afua Mensah, a second year student at HSU who is majoring in international studies, attended the event to meet the people who make up the community of Arcata.

“It was really nice meeting new people from the community, we usually don’t get that opportunity since we all sit with our friends or students that attend the school,” Mensah said. “I enjoyed the food so much, but other than the food the music was most enjoyable, especially the rap, which was really powerful and moving to hear.”

Nu Heavenly Tone singers took the stage at the Equity Potluck. | Photo by Dajonea Robinson

This organization tries to welcome HSU students as much as they can to participate within the community. HSU students talked with local community members and got to know the city a little more. The Equity Arcata organization usually coordinates more than one potluck event a year, with the next event coming up sometime in March.

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