Part of Duck Street Dance Club performs during A World Without Borders on May 28, 2019. (Marissa Willke/Emerald)

The Multicultural Center at the University of Oregon hosted "A World Without Borders" – an event aimed at celebrating cultural student groups on campus through performances and food Wednesday evening in the EMU ballroom.

“We wanted to organize an event to bring people from different communities to learn and appreciate different cultures, like the title of the event suggests, with no walls and no borders,” said Sara Espinosa, the Multicultural Center’s media and publicity director.

The free event was open to the public and approximately 150 people attended.

Cally Hetson, a junior studying ethnic studies and international studies, said she attended the event to see her friends perform in Kultra Pilipinas, the Filipino student organization on campus.

“As a student of color on a predominantly white campus, it can be really isolating,” Hetson said. “Having events like these is really nice to have a room full of people of color coming together to celebrate their heritage.”


Flags representing an assortment of countries hang from the ceiling of the EMU Ballroom for UO’s “A World Without Borders” event on May 28, 2019. (Marissa Willke/Emerald)

The Multicultural Center reached out to various student groups on campus to perform at the event, such as Duck Street Dance Club, UO Pacific Islander Club and Hui’ O Hawai’i, the Hawaiian student group on campus.

Sigma Lambda Beta – UO’s only multicultural fraternity on campus – performed a hip-hop dance and Kultra Pilipinas performed a Tinikling Dance.

The event featured solo performances as well. Vanessa Averia performed a Colombian song and dance about the African Diaspora into Colombia and Julia Liu sang a duet to acoustic ukulele.


Vanessa Avenia performs a song at A World Without Borders on May 28, 2019. (Marissa Willke/Emerald)

“The intention was to create community despite the current divisive political turmoil,” Espinosa said.

Local restaurants catered food for the event and offered Cambodian, Mexican, Filipino and Hawaiian cuisines.


A World Without Borders begins with a sprawling dinner, provided by several local restaurants, that showcases a variety of food from different cultures. (Marissa Willke/Emerald)

The Multicultural Center has been planning this event since October and opened the free event to students and the community.

“This is the first year we’ve put on this event. Our resource specialist, Belén Lopez, came up with the idea back in October,” Espinosa said. “We wanted to have all of the communities come together and enjoy this free dinner and some performances and create community.”