Presented by Cultural Arts and Diversity and Rainbow Theater, and organized by students in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Internship Program (CUIP), the Birth of Word Festival started Thursday with workshops and ended Saturday with performances and a catered lunch in the Stevenson Event Center. Saturday’s performances featured UCSC student performers from Poet’s Corner, Tahitian dance trio People of the Islands, and Mexican folk dance group Los Mejicas. Spoken word collective Fiveology closed out Saturday’s event. The performances focused on youth empowerment with honest and revealing poetry topics ranging from sex and gender identity to racism and religion, moving members of the audience to laugh, cheer, clap and cry. All photos by Katie Small. Read more about the festival here.