World Showcase celebrates diversity and intersectionality, enriches campus community

Last Friday, the Oglethorpe community gathered to celebrate the second World Showcase, a student-organized celebration of world culture and a vibrant reflection of the many cultures that comprise the university’s student body.

Attendees traveled the globe as they tried a variety of foods, enjoyed live performances from entertainers like traditional Indian dance troupe Nritya Sankalpa, and participated in activities like getting henna body art and painting paper lanterns.

Students smiling while panting lanterns at the World Showcase

The World Showcase featured food, activities, and performers from different cultures.

Created by Oglethorpe’s Asian American & Pacific Islander Students in Association (ASIA), the World Showcase unites different clubs and students from all backgrounds for an evening of cultural exchange and appreciation. In addition to ASIA, other student organizations involved were the African Student AssociationBlack Student CaucusFrench Connection ClubOU Monarchs Hispanic Oglethorpe Latinx Association, and the German Club.

ASIA created the first World Showcase in 2023 when they noticed an opportunity for a unique collaboration among the many student organizations at Oglethorpe. The event aims to gather students in a shared space to celebrate what makes each student unique and spark honest conversations and connections.

Co-president of ASIA Nathania Adhisty ’25 compares the showcase to a “vibrant mosaic” where students can come together and see the beauty in their differences and similarities.

Student receiving a Henna tattoo at the World Showcase

Activities at the World Showcase included henna tattoos, lantern painting, bracelet making, and more.

“It’s a great way for everyone to share a piece of their home or heritage with others. It’s not just about fun and food; it’s about building a tighter community where everyone feels seen and valued.”

This year, the event had additional support from Intercultural Center Director Marisol Zacarias, who is interested in bringing OU’s cultural student organizations together to showcase Oglethorpe’s diversity.

“Remaining curious about cultural differences and commonalities is central to nurturing a sense of belonging and inviting our community to show up authentically,” says Zacarias.

“I’m proud of ASIA’s leadership and look forward to building support by engaging more students, faculty and staff next year.”

Adhisty shared that she and ASIA’s other leaders, Mekela Iorio ’25 and Morgan Quach ’25, hope for the World Showcase to grow by involving more clubs, departments and the local Atlanta-Brookhaven community with the goal that it becomes a staple of the Oglethorpe experience.

“We’re setting the stage, but we want the future generations of students to take it and run with it, each year adding their own flair, their own ideas, and making it even better. We imagine a future where the World Showcase isn’t just an event but a highlight of the year or tradition that everyone—students, faculty, alumni, and even the local community—looks forward to.”

Nathania Adhisty and Morgan Quach pose for a photo with Intercultural Center Director Marisol Zacarias and President McClymond

Morgan Quach ’25 (second from left) and Nathania Adhisty ’25 (third from left) with President McClymond and Intercultural Center Director Marisol Zacarias.

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