Harambee House is the heart of the Black community at Brown. This is primarily because it helps to facilitate a love of and respect for Blackness while also creating a sense of unity and family. The house was founded in 1993 by a group of African-American students, in collaboration with Black faculty members. This group of individuals envisioned Harambee as an environment in which Black students engage in authentic cultural and, by extension, self-expression. Indeed, its namesake, meaning togetherness in Swahili, illustrates a commitment to cultivating a sense of community, academic excellence, and leadership for all people of African descent. Since its founding, Harambee has been an integral part of the Black community on Brown’s campus as it is a meeting space, residential space, and ultimately, a home.

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It is important that Black students have a space that allows them to process all of the stressors and cultural differences they may experience while attending a predominantly white institution. A place to call our own. In fact, according to Harambee’s constitution, the primary function of the house is “to have an atmosphere where Black people/ students and their allies can feel safe, secure, and comfortable among one another.” Consequently, Harambee strives to be a safe atmosphere for Black scholars and their supporters--a place where no one feels the need to explain, translate, or be self-conscious. It is important to note that Harambee does not exclusively serve as an escape from white oppression, it is also a space that actively promotes Black excellence and aids in the formation of Black leaders. 

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Harambee House is not only a home for students who choose to reside there, but it also serves as a gathering place for the Black community at large. Student groups such as the Black Student Union, The League of United Black Women, and Black fraternities use Harambee’s facilities for meetings, to host events, and as a home base for community outreach efforts that unite and galvanize Black students. As a result, the space aids in the formation of strong ties, which often evolve into support systems and valuable networks, that remain long beyond graduation. 

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Harambee House sponsors a host of events throughout the year, all of which are intended to enrich the lives of both its residents and members of the larger Black community. Nguzo Saba Week, which serves to educate individuals on the practical application of the seven principles of Nguzo Saba, and the Harrambe Lecture series are just two of the many events that the Harambee House Committee plans. Thus, Harrambe House promotes extensive knowledge about Black history and culture. 

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Harambee House residence is not limited to students of African Descent, though its distinct mission is to serve as a haven for Blackness. Allies of various racial and ethnic identities are attracted to Harambee as a housing option due to its vibrancy and sense of community. One former student, who identifies as Latina, wanted to live in Harrambe in order to “share [her culture] as well as embrace the African American culture.” Indeed, residents of all kinds, whether it be Black students or allies, foster an environment that is both accepting and supportive of differences.

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Harambee is ultimately committed to the advancement of Black students, and, by extension, it is an entity that serves to aid in the personal development of students of all kinds.

OUR HOME AT BROWN UNIVERSITY

harambee

Decorations

  • Sculptures

  • Wall Art

  • Curtains

  • Rugs

 

Technology

  • Speakers

Books

  • Textbooks

  • Novels

Furniture

  • Desks + Tables

  • Chairs + Couches + Bean Bags

  • Cushions + Pillows

  • Coat Rack + Hangers

  • Storage / Organization Bins

  • String lights + light bulbs + lamps