Clubs promote many cultures in week-long event


Victoria Artale

Diamond Bar High School’s Black Student Union club held a debate on March 3 as part of the school’s Culture Week. Muslim Student Association and the Henna with a Heart club also participated in the event.

In an effort to raise cultural awareness at Diamond Bar High School, several clubs and organizations banded together for the school’s second Culture Week event during lunch March 2-4.

The Muslim Student Association, the Black Student Union, the Hispanic Organization of Parents and Education and the Henna with a Heart club planned the event.

Culture Week was created as a way to spread awareness about various cultures at DBHS. It was first held in January 2018 and was started by former BSU president Amelia Anijielo.

“I think the main purpose is to get students to broaden their perspective on other cultures and see the representation of diversity we have on our campus,” junior Anoushka Bhat, co-president of Henna with a Heart, said via Messenger. “I think it’s important because it helps students bond with each other and really highlights unity in diversity.”

This year’s event was organized by senior MSA co-president Salma Rashad, who reached out to BSU during one of their meetings and later contacted representatives from HOPE.

“Being a part of MSA and BSU, I wanted to join both clubs because at our separate meetings, we have similar discussions and debates, so I thought it would be amazing to do a collab,” Rashad said.

MSA, which hosts the annual Ask A Muslim Day, held a debate on March 2 in history teacher Ty Watkins’ room that focused on topics relating to all minority groups, with questions like “Is police brutality justified?” and “Do you think all peoples are represented in government?” French teacher Anthony Tietz also helped run the debate. According to vice president Rohaan Lateef, about 40 students attended.

“It was a fun experience to see two of the most popular teachers on campus fight each other,” he said.” “I think it went well. I think it was a good debate and I feel like we should have another one ‘cause it was very entertaining.”

The following day, the Black Student Union held a debate in science teacher Kylance Malveaux’s room. About 20 students attended the event, according to junior BSU historian Ryan Houston. The club asked several questions, including “Does school detention do any good in high schools” and “Is it better to be honest and poor or dishonest and rich?” After the debate, students socialized with each other and ate pizza that was provided by the club.

Houston said the club hosted a debate to have people share their thoughts and feelings on certain topics so that others can see these different perspectives and insights offered.

“The debate went well and people were sharing their opinions and not just [staying] quiet,” he said.

The Henna with a Heart club set up a table on the final day of Culture Week in the upper quad where students could get their henna done.

“We are collecting the money still and we are still in the process of planning where to donate,” Bhat said. “We hope to have a big event in the end after to donate possibly to St. Jude’s.”

According to junior co-president Sriya Ponnaganti, Henna with a Heart accepted MSA’s offer to participate because they wanted to spread cultural awareness of henna to DBHS students. Henna with a Heart promoted the event through flyers on social media.

“It’s great to see that students are really excited about learning a new art, and I appreciate how the school has been really supportive of our events,” Bhat said.