When I was a freshman, I entered Furman feeling lost and unsure of where I could find my community on campus. It took many prayers, networking, and perseverance for me to establish my own community on campus, and once I did, my college experience improved tenfold. Knowing the difficulty of adjusting to college, walking through the world as a person of color (POC), and seeking a career that lacks ethnic and racial diversity, I sympathize with the incoming classes of Furman students. Especially with the stress and social limitations of the current COVID-19 pandemic, I can only imagine the challenges faced by new arrivals to Furman.  

Though I managed to stumble across a supportive community within the Furman bubble, I wish that there were a way for the process to be more streamlined. I wanted to make a difference in the college experience for the next generations of POC-identifying students at Furman. Brainstorming with my best friend, Paris Sider ‘22, I came up with the idea to throw a social event geared towards encouraging POC students at Furman to network with one another, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie among attendees. Framed as a picnic social, this event aims to help students step out of their comfort zones and begin to build community on campus much more easily than I was able to as a first-year student.  

Though it is human tendency to congregate with our different “tribes,” or the people that have similar interests, backgrounds, and identities as us. However, there is greater strength in numbers. It is my hope that the result of this event is the diversification of excellence in addition to the unification of the POC community at Furman.  

This Furman University POC Picnic Social – the first of its kind – will feature networking competitions with prizes from the Furman Bookstore, complimentary dinner for attendees, and games. But more importantly, this event will provide a foundation for building community, connecting with potential mentors, and building lifelong friendships to enrich your Furman experience.  

Join us on September 4 from 5-7 pm by the lake behind Daniel Dining Hall for food, drinks, games, raffles, and great vibes! This event was made possible through the collaboration of many individuals and organizations, especially FUSAB, FUGE, SLBC, SDC, and Mosaic.