Student workshop promotes diversity and inclusion

Student workshop promotes diversity and inclusion
Posted on 07/23/2018

Waiting for the school division’s 12th annual Diversity Ambassadors Workshop to begin July 19, first-time attendees admitted they weren’t sure what to expect, but they certainly demonstrated the right mindset from the start.

“I was just curious about it. I thought I would try it,” said Max Kallweit, a rising seventh-grader at Great Neck Middle School. “Everybody can be lonely in their life and everybody should have a friend. People should not hate.”

Fellow Great Neck student, Ignacio “Nacho” Lopez, a rising eighth-grader who is a native of Spain, added “There are different people in the world and you have to know everybody else’s world.”

New diversity ambassadors for Bayside High School, Mahogany Thomas and Tori McArtis, also came in with an open mind.

“I was recommended to attend,” said Thomas, a rising sophomore. “I thought it would be a good opportunity so I just came to see what it was about.”

“I just came to learn…to gain knowledge,” said McArtis, a rising senior. “It seems like, in today’s society, a lot of people are discriminated against still and we just need to find a way to change it – to problem solve.”

McArtis already had some thoughts on how to do that at her home school: “Just accept everyone for how they are. Don’t discriminate. Don’t be rude to people. Get to know people.”

Getting to know new people was the first activity Susan James, chief administrative officer at Tidewater Community College (TCC), had planned for the 152 secondary students and 31 adult advisers gathered in the Boyd Dining Center at Virginia Wesleyan University.

She asked participants to share their thoughts about a photo of students sitting next to each other in two classrooms with the title: So Close, But Yet, So Far!

Read the full story on The Core.