Cultivating culture of tolerance at DB

Amy Miyahara, Asst. A&E Editor

In a school with a dominant East Asian population, many students are not exposed to the cultures of other minority groups. A few of Diamond Bar High School’s cultural clubs hope to change this by hosting DBHS’s first ever Culture Week, starting Jan. 29.

The event will be hosted by the Black Student Union (BSU), the Hispanic Organization of Parents and Education (HOPE) and the Muslim Student Association (MSA). Indian Culture Club (ICC) will also be collaborating with MSA during the week.

After two months of planning, MSA reached out to BSU, which was able to get HOPE involved as well.

BSU senior president Amelia Anijelo said she was first inspired to host Culture Week after hearing about similar events at other schools.

“My cousins at their schools in Cerritos and in the Inland Empire have a type of Culture Week shows. There’s…dance shows and everyone’s cultures can come together, and I was like, ‘How come Diamond Bar doesn’t have this? I’ve never seen this in my life,’” she said.

To start off Culture Week, there will be a silent march to save Temporary Protected Status, starting by the 300 building and going across campus. The clubs are expecting around 50 participants. TPS protects people of certain nations from being removed from the U.S. while conditions in their country of origin prevent them from returning safely. President Donald Trump’s administration announced the end of TPS protection for people from Haiti this past November. More recently, he announced protection will be ending for about 200,000 Salvadorans in Sept. 2019, putting them at risk of deportation, according to the Washington Post.

“TPS is something that isn’t really covered in the media, but it’s a really big thing,” HOPE secretary senior Andrea Moran said. “There’s going to be kids without parents, spouses losing their significant others. A lot of people’s lives are going to be changed, and it’s so sad that people [who] have been here for almost twenty years are going to have to start over in a country that they don’t know.”

Each of the clubs will then host a different day of Culture Week. HOPE will host Tuesday’s events, during which there will be a celebration of Hispanic cultures affected by TPS. HOPE has planned for dancing as well as a pinata activity. On Thursday, MSA will be having a station where students can get their names written in Arabic calligraphy, a photo booth where students can try on a hijab and games where students answer questions about Muslim culture for prizes. ICC will also perform on Wednesday. On the same day, BSU has arrangements for African dance and drum performances.

On Friday, Keith Osajima, a professor from University of Redlands and uncle of DBHS intervention counselor Lauren Osajima-Baird, will come to DBHS and speak about the issue of racism.

Anijelo said that she hopes to raise student awareness about different cultures by hosting Culture Week.

“We know about other cultures, but I feel like minorities here are kind of underlooked. [Culture Week] is just so people can know, get general information on what does mean to be black, what does it mean to be a Muslim, what does it mean to be a Latino or a Latina,” she said.