Diversity Day to teach Vermont school kids to focus on race, other difference

May 3, 2018 by

Though racial diversity is a component of Diversity Day, Simms said the school is interested in encouraging people to be open about different experiences.

This article by Harmony Birch originally appeared April 30 in the Brattleboro Reformer.

BRATTLEBORO — For Mikaela Simms, diversity coordinator for the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union, Diversity Day is about opening up conversations.

“We don’t know what we don’t know,” she said. “In school, it’s important that it’s relatable to everyone.”

Diversity Day has been a staple at Brattleboro Union High School since 1998, Simms said. Eventually, it extended to every school in the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union. This year’s Diversity Day will be bigger and more inclusive than before, Robin Morgan, a Brattleboro School Board member, said. The event will be held Friday, 5 to 8 p.m., on Elliot Street between the Harmony Parking Lot and Main Street.

Though racial diversity is a component of Diversity Day, Simms said the school is interested in encouraging people to be open about different experiences.

Each year a theme is chosen for diversity day; last year it was water justice. The idea that everyone deserves access to water is something everyone can get behind, Morgan said. This year the theme is solidarity.

“Every community needs solidarity,” Simms said. She said she wants solidarity, which can be both simple and complex, to be accessible to first-graders.

At schools, there are different workshops and activities students can participate in. Simms said the activities aren’t mandatory. At the end of the day, everyone attends an assembly.

Read full story at the Brattleboro Reformer.

(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Löwenstein Center

Source: Diversity Day to teach Vermont school kids to focus on race, other differences | True North Reports

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