HOPE Council Seeks Faculty Involvement
Each spring HOPE Council offers World Culture Week and World Culture Festival as a celebration of cultures and experiences. Yet, in a recent Teaching Center workshop, faculty learned that HOPE Council offers additional ways for faculty to get involved.
HOPE Council is a student-led organization dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive Belmont community. Senior Belmont student and HOPE Council president Khyesha Everett said that the cornerstone of the Council is open conversations.
“HOPE Council exists to create an environment where diversity is appreciated, understood and celebrated,” Everett said. “We seek to create a space where everyone has a seat at the table and is comfortable to celebrate their culture.”
To do so, HOPE Council offers a variety of events in addition to World Culture Week and World Culture Festival.
- HOPE Talk: HOPE Talk are monthly conversations on issues of diversity and offer an opportunity for students to learn about key issues from educators and professionals. In October, Dr. Heather Finch discussed criminal justice, forgiveness and faith through the lens of New York Times bestseller Just Mercy.
- HOPE World Politics: HOPE World Politics is hosted by a panel of educators and professionals who lead student small group discussions on politics and the impact on diversity.
- HOPE Gatherings: HOPE Gatherings offer safe conversational spaces to discuss emerging issues near home and around the world. These gatherings are often in response to a current event and offer students a venue to reflect and converse with others.
In addition to these events, HOPE Council serves as the umbrella organization that supports several multicultural and identity groups at Belmont, including the Black Student Association, the Hispanic Student Association, Bridge Builders, the Gender Equality movement, the South Asian Middle Eastern Association, Bruin Vets, the Japanese Culture Club, and the Chinese Cultural Club. “We support these organizations with their campus efforts through partnerships such as movie nights as well as provide these groups opportunities to share with one another,” Everett said.
Everett encourages faculty to become involved in HOPE Talk and HOPE World Politics as guest speakers, explaining that diversity is not limited to discussions on race, but about anyone and anything not in the majority. She noted that topics such as women in science or financial literacy would be important diversity conversations.
In addition to speaking, Everett encourages faculty to simply join the conversation. “Our events are not just for students. All faculty are welcome,” Everett said. “We have a space for community.”
If you are interested in learning more about HOPE Council, please contact Khyesha Everett at firstname.lastname@example.org.