One of my goals as the diversity, equity, and inclusion coordinator for HTHS is to give students a greater role in how school culture is shaped and formed. I believe that the issues we face when it comes to inequity and exclusion are understood by our students more than any other group. They walk these halls everyday and are very aware of the parts of our culture that can be changed for the better. Because of this, we have formed a student group called the Student Equity Council (SEC). This group’s purpose is to create an infrastructure that allows students to help solve the issues that our school faces.
We started by creating a group social contract. Together we created a set of rules that everyone in the group created and agreed to. This set the tone for the group's mission of giving all students a greater voice in our building. Next, for Black History Month, the students participated in an essay discussion on the Pulitzer Prize-winning essay “The Idea of America” by Nikole Hannah-Jones. This was done in order to familiarize students with the process of researching and providing evidence for our future endeavors of addressing larger systemic inequities. We cannot solve problems if we don’t fully understand them.
Our next process as a group will be to create a unified understanding of what makes our school great and what issues we need to address. We will spend several Advisory periods determining where we should focus our efforts and then use the skills of research, citing evidence, organizing, and persuasive argumentation to begin addressing the systemic issues that negatively impact all of us. We want our students to be empowered to use their minds, their voices, and their collective spirit to help make a better school and a better world for all of us.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator/ Guidance Support
Hamilton Township High School