Local artist, activist Roger Moore speaks at Global Neighborhood Dinner

Moore, a Burlington native, shared his experiences with plants and spirituality, and power at the last Global Neighborhood Dinner.

The Global Neighborhood had the second global dinner of the semester on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Local activist, artist, and entrepreneur Roger Moore was invited as a guest speaker to speak about his work in the community.

Using the metaphor for planting plants in fertile soil and providing oxygen and beauty for others, Moore talked about the importance of being rooted in community engagement and looking for ways to be useful to others.

The evening began with a screening of Moore’s story from his interview with the Power and Place Collaborative. In this video, he discusses his vision for an artist-friendly Burlington and his own plans to paint murals of the twelve Zodiac signs around town. With the first mural painted for the Cancer Zodiac, he is currently staging the second mural in the series with plans to continue the rest in the future.

Following the short film screening, Moore discussed his community activism and social entrepreneurship. Inspired by former Mayor Ian Baltutis ’08, Moore began his civic engagement by volunteering on various city government committees in Burlington. In many cases, Moore has been the first or only African American to serve on the committee and, in almost all cases, was the youngest. His message was that young people can and should get involved and that decisions are made by those who show up. Now, he is putting his energy, organizing and social media skills into promoting young candidates for office.

In addition to his artistic endeavors and civic engagement, Moore also spoke about his entrepreneurial ventures, encouraging his audience to look for business opportunities everywhere. He started out planning events in clubs and from that transitioned into event photography. As Moore has always had a fascination with his spiritual side, he started his own business doing sage services and selling crystals. He also became trained as a Reiki practitioner. Finally, his passion for plants led him to open his own plant nursery. His current plan is to integrate all his services under one umbrella business. In addition to encouraging students in the audience to look for business opportunities, he said he tries to help his friends start businesses as well, seeing entrepreneurship as collaborative rather than competitive.

After the talk and discussion, Moore provided some insights about the care and benefits of snake plants, which were raffled off to lucky students. Moore explained that snake plants are a night plant, meaning they flower and produce oxygen at night, while also controlling carbon dioxide, making it a healthy plant for dorm life.

If getting free food and a great discussion by great speakers sounds appealing, join students, faculty and staff from the Global Neighborhood for the November Dinner at McKinnon Hall on Nov. 8 at 5:30 p.m. November’s dinner theme is “Global Neighbor” and will feature an Asia cuisine buffet.

International students, faculty, and staff will be the guests of honor. Also joining the dinner will be volunteers and staff members of local refugee resettlement organizations. A special-guest speaker panel will share their stories of coming to the U.S. All are warmly welcome to attend, whether Global Neighborhood residents or not.