Phew! It’s already October 21st and I just arrived in Minneapolis after a much needed four day visit back in Pennsylvania with my family and friends. The past four months have been a whirlwind of emotions ranging from loving Minneapolis to being so frustrated with my volleyball players to wanting to go home to being content with where I am. With the love and support of my new community members as well as my DeLaSalle HS community, I’ve been able to greet each new day with a new attitude.
This week is Diversity Week at DeLaSalle. During Diversity Week, we celebrate the different cultures in our school. Coming from a small city in Pennsylvania (~13,000 people), I did not have a lot of interaction with people of different cultures. At DeLaSalle, we have over 12 different cultures making up about 40-45% of our community.
Diversity week consists of activities every day. On Monday, we have Native Pride Dancers come to perform. They are known for their high-energy shows featuring a blend of modern and traditional Native American dance. On Tuesday, our students will give presentations during classes that reflect their own cultures or cultures of their friends. On Wednesday, we will have the “Wheel of Deserts,” where students will donate $1 to take a chance to win various deserts. All of the money will then be donated to Caring and Sharing Hands. On Thursday, we are having a priest, a rabbi, and an imam who traveled together to Israel/Palestine and are featured in the documentary, “Footsteps: A Journey in Faith,” present about how they found commonalities among their differences in the Holy Land. Friday is our finale where our students, as well as outside groups, will share different dances, songs, poems, or any part of their culture they would like with the rest of our community.
Like I said before, I come from a small city in Pennsylvania and I pursued my undergraduate degree at a small Catholic university, also in Pennsylvania. The little experience I have had with different cultures includes people of different races primarily sticking together and not intermixing with others. As you can tell from the video, diversity is celebrated at DeLaSalle. It unites the community and makes us unique. It’s new to me and I absolutely love it. It doesn’t matter what race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, sexual orientation or gender you are at DeLaSalle. All are welcomed. It has opened my eyes at how wonderfully made each and every one of us is. We all have our differences, but instead of letting those differences separate us, we should celebrate them.
The world would be a very boring place if every one of us were the same. We would walk around like robots, all doing the same thing, at the same time, wearing the same clothes. The world needs a little spice, and that’s what I think diversity is all about, putting some spice in the world. The spice is what makes each of us interesting.
After this year, I’m planning on taking what I have experienced with diversity, love it, live it, celebrate it, and encourage others to do the same. So next time you are around someone of a different culture, remember their experiences can spice up your life. Also, always remember no matter what, God loves you and your neighbors with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love (Jesus Storybook Bible).
Kayla Bryson-Tucker, 2012, DeLaSalle HS, Minneapolis, MN