Belmont University HOPE Council ended World Culture Week by holding the seventh annual World Culture Festival Friday night.
The evening included a wide array of performances and booths where student organizations served food and gave out information about different cultures.
The performances included Bollywood dance from Nisa Syed, an original spoken word by Bill DuBois, an original Chinese folk song by Cherriana Wang & Selena Zhu and eight other acts.
HOPE Council is the combination of seven student organizations, including the Hispanic Student Association, Black Student Association, Bridge Builders, Japanese Culture Club and more. It works to support those organizations and foster conversations about diversity and privilege around campus.
“As someone who presents most of the time as a straight white man — I’m not, but I recognize that gives me an incredible amount of privilege,” said Steven Metrejean, president of HOPE Council. “I’m very passionate about giving voice to people who don’t have that same amount of privilege and using my privilege to lift other people up.”
Since World Culture Festival is the council’s largest event during the school year, HOPE Council creates a separate executive board to coordinate the event.
“It’s really about everyone coming together, and in a way just having a good time, but also the opportunity to learn more about each other,” said World Culture Festival Board President Clar Walz. “To bring all of the different organizations under HOPE Council together and have a big celebration of everything that makes us different.”
This article written by Lydia Fletcher. Photos by Joe Bendekovic.