Belmont’s annual Diversity Week is scheduled for Oct. 3-8. This year’s theme of “Reweaving the Social Fabric” was derived from pathway four of the University’s aspirational aim.
Planning for Diversity Week started at the beginning of the semester by efforts from the Welcome Home Diversity Council. Chair of the council’s Events and Engagement Committee Renee Schultz coordinated with a planning team to organize a host of activities including panel discussions, real talk sessions, commemoration services and a block party celebration.
“The goal of Diversity Week is to provide intentional opportunities for students, faculty and staff to grow, reflect and celebrate diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging” Schultz said. “We wanted our students, faculty and staff to not only embrace inclusive excellence but to think about what it means individually and as a community to “reweave the social fabric.” We also plan to use fabric throughout the week for some passive programming.”
Full details and times for the following abridged schedule can be found on the Diversity Week website.
Monday, Oct. 3
Sandra Maria Van Opstal, a Latina pastor, author and activist will present a message titled Chasing Justice Together in Gabhart Chapel.
Faculty members will share their experiences of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Johnson Large Theater for a faculty panel discussion.
Belmont’s Diverse Community of Faculty and Staff will present “Lights at the Fountain,” a commemorative floating candle event honoring the enslaved persons that toiled on the original Belmont estate at the Freedom Plaza Fountain.
Tuesday, Oct. 4
Real Talk facilitates open and safe dialogue focusing on, but not limited to diversity, equity, and inclusion with the slogan, “If you are bold enough to bring it up, then we are bold enough to talk about it.” A Staff and Faculty Real Talk as well as a Real Talk for Students will take place in Janet Ayers C and D.
Wednesday, Oct. 5
It Must Be Wednesday will showcase diversity and multicultural organizations at Freedom Plaza.
The Global Bruins: Shifting Perceptions workshop will teach attendees skills to operate more effectively in various cultural situations in Janet Ayers 1034.
Dr. John Faison, Senior Pastor of Watson Grove Baptist Church in Nashville, will deliver a message about “The Black Church” in Gabhart Chapel.
Thursday, Oct. 6
Five events from the Diversity in Entertainment Symposium series will take place in the Johnson Center Large Theater:
– Changing the Music from within- a Case Study of three Women in Bluegrass and
– Slave Songs to Grammys: The Story of the Fisk Jubilee Singers
– Answering Ava DuVernay’s Call to Action- Using Film and TV as Tools of Empathy,
Empowerment and Community Engagement Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in
– This is What it Sounds Like- A Music Showcase
Real Talk for ALL will be open to staff, faculty and students in Janet Ayers C and D.
The final two events from the Diversity in Entertainment Symposium series will take place in the Fisher Center:
– Diversity in Country Music
– Keynote Event: A Call to Action in Entertainment and Sports from Dialogue to Impact
The BSA Choir will lead worship in Gabhart Chapel, and a Diversity Week Block Party will be hosted in conjunction with Food Truck Fridays on Circle Drive.
“The Good Times are Killing Me,” an autobiographical comic drama that depicts a story of growing up in an interracial neighborhood in the 1960s will be performed at the Fisher Center for Performing Arts. A chat with the cast and producer will follow the performance.
Passive programming around the theme of “Reweaving the Social Fabric” will be on display for the campus community to engage with throughout the week. Various student groups, staff and faculty will lead social media takeovers on Belmont’s Instagram during the week for the campus to tune into updates and engagements.