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Embracing diversity throughout the year

A transformation of learning and understanding beyond a single week
Kicking off the Diversity Symposium: Kelly Williams Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion talks about the significance behind the Adrian Wayde Wright tournament. “This Basketball tournament embraces the strength and diversity of our school,” said Williams. “Students come together on the court, not just to play basketball but to celebrate the legacy of Adrian Wright.”
Kicking off the Diversity Symposium: Kelly Williams Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion talks about the significance behind the Adrian Wayde Wright tournament. “This Basketball tournament embraces the strength and diversity of our school,” said Williams. “Students come together on the court, not just to play basketball but to celebrate the legacy of Adrian Wright.”

“Diversity has always been an important part of Greenhills traditions,” said Kelly Williams, Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  “Although it has taken many forms over the years we hope that this year students will find it a more immersive and  exciting experience.” 

Greenhills has taken many steps over the years towards creating a more inclusive and diverse school environment. Diversity Week has provided a dedicated time to celebrate and learn about various cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. 

However, over the years, it became apparent that a one hour class is not enough to raise awareness, impact, and understanding for the community. This year, the Diversity Office has decided that bringing up this awareness should not be confined to a single week but should be integrated into events throughout the year. 

Williams along with the Diversity Office faculty have worked to improve students’ experience during Diversity Week. Through feedback from students and faculty, they were able to create a more immersive system. 

“Based on the feedback we received, the concept of dedicating an additional hour every day for students to engage in diversity-related activities or discussions felt similar to having a fifth daily class, which was both tiring and difficult,” said Williams. “Having the time more spread out makes it easier for everyone to absorb and think about the ideas presented at diversity events rather than just rushing through them.”

The Diversity Symposium has taken different forms throughout the years, including Diversity week. Alexandra Dasilva ‘26 believes that the new form of diversity will contribute to students’ growth and their learning experience.

“I think having Diversity Week being spread out over the entire year is beneficial because now we can apply these principles throughout the year and incorporate activities and events into our daily lives,” said Dasilva. “When Diversity Week was at the end of the day, it was hard to engage in. I feel like it took a part out of my day, instead of adding to it like it was intended too.”

Before the pandemic, the school used to dedicate a full day to Diversity day, similarly to Service Day. But after the pandemic, the format changed into a week for diversity. Ethan Hess ‘26 shares his past experiences with the Diversity Symposium from before and after the pandemic. 

“When I was in middle school, before the pandemic, we used to have a full day dedicated to diversity. I enjoyed Diversity Day more because instead of rushing through topics we were able to go around and learn about different topics,” Hess said. “I don’t think,within just an hour, you can get people to fully understand a topic,which is why I prefer having a Diversity day over this new idea.”

Nina Olson ‘26 talks about her takeaways from Diversity Week last year and how it helped her shape every day decisions she makes. 

“I remember, in the past years, we learned about microaggressions. This taught me more about the topic and how different phrases can be harmful to people,” Olson said. “Now I’m able understand what could possibly be harmful to say that I didn’t know before.”

With a new format of the Diversity Symposium, the Diversity Office hopes to make discussions surrounding diversity more engaging and leave students and staff with a deeper understanding of what diversity means to the schools community. 

“Diversity at Greenhills has always been a priority, and educating students on subjects from speakers and during class discussions,” said Williams.  “The Diversity Symposium reflects the commitment of our school community to create an inclusive and culturally aware environment that helps students to thrive.  As we begin the Diversity Symposium, we look forward to the opportunities and growth it will bring this year.” 

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