Club Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion

Ms.+Norris%2C+seen+in+the+background%2C++who+was+the+original+adviser+of+the+Black+Culture+Club+when+it+formed+in+2004%2C++is+now+advising+the+Diversity+and+Culture+Club.

Ms. Norris, seen in the background, who was the original adviser of the Black Culture Club when it formed in 2004, is now advising the Diversity and Culture Club.

Ms. Norris, Adviser, The Diversity and Culture Club

The Diversity and Culture Club is leading some very important changes this year. Over the summer, we talked about racism in our country and in our school. (According to the ADL, racism is the marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people/culture/norms).We decided to ask the school to diversify our History curriculum to include more people of color and focus on cultures beyond those of Europe, and beyond the scope of how Europe impacted them. In a meeting with History teachers, we voiced our concerns. As a result, the History department has started shifting some of their teaching to be more inclusive.

Another thing we’ve been working on is putting together a list of ideas on how the school can be more inclusive and anti-racist, which we plan to share with the newly formed Diversity and Equity committee, made up of teachers and administrators. Some of the things on our list are hiring more teachers of color, addressing racist comments/microaggressions in classes, and including more diversity in our English,Math, and Science curriculum. For example, teachers could regularly and intentionally feature people of color that were great mathematicians, scientists, or writers, or better yet, let students learn about them and teach each other.  

In addition, we have hosted guest speakers for Hispanic American Heritage Month, including Ms. Grundstrom who works in the office, and Xiomara DeLobato who is the Associate Director of Diversity at UMass, Amherst. Because we lack teachers of color in our building, it’s important to bring in diverse adults to speak with students whenever possible. Other clubs and classes can do this as well by bringing in guest speakers that are people of color. We plan to celebrate Native American Heritage Month next.

Finally, we are working on an advisory lesson about the diverse cultures at Minnechaug, and how we can better support them. We hope to address implicit bias and microaggressions, as well as focus on the native people whose land Minnechaug sits on, and who gave us the name Minnechaug. Do you know what Minnechaug means? See if you can find out! Or wait until the DCC advisory…

If you are interested in joining, or have any questions, please see Ms.Norris in B161, or email her at [email protected]