Around the World Day has been one of my favorite events throughout my years in high school. I have always enjoyed seeing my classmates in a new light as they show off their personal cultures. Being of a diverse origin (or being more noticeably different than the majority) can be very alienating, even in a community like Friends. However, events like Around the World Day remind me that there is so much more diversity that is hidden below the surface every other day of the year. It makes me wonder why, in a community like our own, everyday does not feel like Around the World Day.
I helped organize this event as co-leader of RAAD (Raising Awareness Advocating Diversity), but also as someone who wants our community to feel welcome to share their cultures willingly, without judgement, and on their own terms. I hope that this event helped members of our community to learn more about cultures they had never previously experienced, but to also find a closer connection to cultures outside of their own through their friends, peers, students, etc. I have learned at Friends and through numerous diversity conferences that proximity drives empathy with drives us closer to achieving social justice. For the past two years as I have helped my grandmother as she wakes up before 5am just to fry aloo pies for my table, I have learned more about my own culture. During those times, I have always hoped that I could somehow help the Friends community to connect with the tangible quality of “the other” that our country so often rejects by seeing a representation of a multitude of different cultures from people they know and love!
– Jada Jameson