A Year of Cultural Connections

Celebrating Diversity at Oneonta High School: A Year of Cultural Connections
 
This school year, the Oneonta High School Diversity Club has made significant strides in fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students and has left a lasting impact on our school community. Introduced to the Board of Education on November 8th by Principal Mr. Kevin Stevens, club advisor Mrs. Renee Stanley, teacher Mrs. Mary Beth Stalder, and enthusiastic OHS students, the Diversity Club emerged with a mission to celebrate diversity and encourage acceptance across the Yellowjacket community.
 
The club's first event, the Multicultural Lunch, was a resounding success that paved the way for future luncheons. These events, which have become a beloved tradition at OHS, offer a rich variety of cultural experiences. Three multicultural luncheons were held throughout the school year, each featuring students and staff bringing in foods from different cultures, offering their peers the opportunity to taste and appreciate a variety of cuisines.
 
The first Multicultural Luncheon took place in November, just before the holiday break, and was met with great enthusiasm. The second luncheon, held in February, celebrated Black History Month. The final luncheon of the year took place today, May 31st, and featured an array of Asian and Pacific Islander dishes, along with other cultural foods. This event was a perfect conclusion to Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, highlighting the club's dedication to cultural education and celebration.
 
In addition to the luncheons, the Diversity Club organized a series of enlightening events throughout May. On May 8th, the club hosted a screening of the live-action film Mulan (2020) in the LGI (Large Group Instruction Room). The event featured a special guest speaker, Jason Reed, one of the producers of the movie, who joined via Zoom for a questions-and-answers session about the authenticity and cultural significance of the film. Then, on May 14th, students enjoyed a fun and educational game of Bingo during lunch in the LGI. The game focused on Asian American and Pacific Islander history, culture, tradition, and entertainment, with candy prizes for the winners. The following week, on May 17th, the club held a Mahjong event in the library. Multiple stations were set up for students and staff to learn and play this traditional Chinese game, which is rich in history and cultural significance.
 
The club has also been active on Instagram (@ohs.diversity_), using the platform to share their events, spread awareness, and connect with the OHS community. Their efforts have celebrated diversity and fostered a sense of unity and understanding among students.
 
The OHS Diversity Club has had a profoundly positive impact on the school community this year. Through their dedication and creativity, they have created a more inclusive environment where students feel valued and accepted. We look forward to seeing what this dynamic group will accomplish in the years to come.
GO 'JACKETS!

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