BHHS 10th graders Nyla Holimon, Brooklyn Ramey, Joele Ballouz, Bryan Randall, Kaylah Walker, and Michele Barnett developed a plan to host a Diversity Day Assembly illustrating how discrimination affects marginalized groups. The assembly was designed to educate the student body and bring awareness to bias within society, and the guest speakers represented various religions, races, abilities, and sexualities.
One of the organizers, Lise-Michele said, “Nyla had the initial idea to hold this assembly and then invited the rest of us to help her put it together. Our goal was to educate our student body on the way words and actions can have lasting effects on people's lives.”
Each grade level attended the assembly at different times throughout the day. All guests at the assembly, who have lived through bias and discrimination, talked about their experiences, then participated in a panel answering questions submitted by students.
Guest speakers included:
- Reginald Humphrey
- Zienab Fahs
- Frank Vaca
- Dazha Coffey
- Deborah Davis
- Rabbi Joshua Bennett and Rabbi Jen Lader
- Maite Elizondo, Sarah Maria Acosta Ahmad, Rosa Martínez, Violanda Soledad, and Érica López Negrete Smith
- Richard Mui
- Tameka Citchen-Spruce
“The response from students has been really positive so far,” said Holimon. “I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback and I’ve even had people open up to me and ask for help.”
The group hopes to hold this assembly or similar events in the future. According to Barnett “I’d also like to see us extend events like this to younger ages as well as to start a cycle of inclusivity in our school district.”