Diversity Council makes a comeback

Sydney Brown, Editor-in-Chief

Diversity Council is a club that has made a comeback this year. It was revitalized at the end of last school year and has gone full speed ahead during the first semester of this year. The club holds meetings to plan activities and have open discussions based on the differences, racial and otherwise, in our school and community. The club members are very passionate about the issues they address and have made impressive strides becoming a very active club.

The activities this club has completed are quite extensive. One of the first things they did was a plan a field trip to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in October to see the temporary exhibit on race entitled “Race: Why are We so Different?” Later that month, they sponsored an anti-bullying campaign in conjunction with National Bullying Prevention Month. The club encouraged their fellow students and school faculty to wear orange to show their support for an end to bullying and spreading kindness. During lunch periods, students added their names to a wall of kindness, also showing their support to preventing bullying. After this campaign, the Diversity Council supported a campaign for World Hello Day. World Hello Day is an event in which you are encouraged to say hello to ten different random people. It stresses the importance of personal communication and peace. To celebrate this event, the club put signs around the hall that had a greeting written in a foreign language on each one. They also filmed and showed a video on the announcements of a hundred different students saying hello in different languages and ways.

The club has even presented scholarship opportunities to its members. Senior Imani Patterson received the Spirit of Unity award for her efforts to promote tolerance and understanding through her action in the Diversity Council. In winning the award, she earned a $1,000 college scholarship. Patterson, nominated by club sponsor Mrs. Davis, received the award on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Unity Breakfast, which the entire Diversity Council attended. It has been club president, Sierra Ungerman’s, favorite activity thus far. She explained, “It was awesome. There was a guest speaker, Lisa Sylvester, who talked about Martin Luther King and connected his work to the recent events with the Ferguson protests. We also got to meet Shaler and North Allegheny’s diversity clubs.”

Ungerman and club treasurer, Janelle Thompson, informed me of some of the things the club has planned for the future. Right now they are working on pamphlets that provide information on police brutality. They are also planning a fundraiser for Make a Friend Day on February 11th. The fundraiser has students fill out questionnaires that give them matches of people they are compatible to be friends with. Diversity Council would also like to create a video for Black History Month to be aired during homeroom. The club’s long-term goals are to gain some male members (currently there are none), gain more support from the school, and to advertise more.

This club certainly is not afraid to tackle tough subjects and to try new things. Thompson explained why she believes the club is important, “It’s important because people want to have a place to talk and have their voices heard, and it’s important to celebrate different cultures.” Embracing these differences is the very foundation of the club. Ungerman also expressed the importance of the Diversity Council, “It’s important because a lot of people aren’t aware of the people outside their friend group. It gives you a way to step outside your comfort zone and learn about others.” If you’re looking for a way to meet new people and celebrate our differences, join the Diversity Council—it’s an excellent way to get involved and promote positive causes.