by Venessa Contratto
The Chadwick community celebrated Diversity Week between Monday, Apr. 18 and Friday, Apr. 22. Director of Multiculturalism and Inclusion Jasmine Love led this week-long series of events with the Diversity Council and different school clubs.
Senior and co-leader of Diversity Council Airiss Finley said, “This year we are trying to focus on bringing other aspects of diversity into this week.”
“The clubs are collaborating, which is perfect for Diversity Week, because what I love about just the word “diversity” is that people get together from different cultures, different background, all kinds of diversity and do stuff” says Love.
The week was kicked off on Monday with three activities. One activity was making Native American prayer feathers, which are used ceremonially as a way of cleansing. A second activity was supporting Japan, and the Diversity Council provided origami paper to make paper cranes and write letters to the workers in Japan.
Tuesday’s main attraction was speaker, Amer Ahmed, expert on Islam and Muslim Culture and Associate Director of the Office of Multi-Ethnic Students at the University of Michigan. His speech focused on “Islamophobia,” a word created to express the feelings many people have towards the Muslims and the Islamic culture. He was informative yet entertaining as he incorporated rap and hip-hop into his speech.
Love said, “I think it’s very pertinent because a lot of people don’t know a lot about the actual facts about what Muslim culture is and what Islamic faith is, and I think we will learn a lot.”
On Wednesday, students had the option to be silent for the day. Lisha Kim, senior and co-leader of the Gay Straight Alliance, said, “We empathize with the many members of the LGBT community and protest against the fact that they have been silenced by harassment or abuse.” Also, students formed the silent triangle for 10 minutes. An organization called the Rainbow Delegation donated 300 rainbow bracelets to Chadwick, so students could show their support.
During lunch, the Measles Awareness Club and Black Student Alliance came together and sold baked goods. The profits go to vaccinations for people in Africa with measles.
On Thursday, the Hispanic Culture Club, the ImaginAsian club, and the Micro Finance club held a Korean BBQ and taco sale, followed by a ping pong tournament. Also, the Genki Club, focused on Japanese culture, had a sale of Japanese trinkets and sold the “Lady Gaga Pray For Japan” bracelets.
Diversity Week concluded with Finley’s introduction of her new club, LBR, or Love Between Races. She described the club as, “Talking about…people that are multiracial…We have to have a group out there, here at Chadwick, that talks about that group of people that fit right in the middle.”
Love said, “I think that is just a really beautiful way to end diversity week.”
Love believes that Diversity Week does not last only one week, but rather the whole year. “We really have to live in a multicultural world…it’s really not diversity, its more about cross-cultural communication and just getting to know people who are different than you” she says. “If we are really honest and compassionate, we can learn a lot from each other.”