The Scratching Post

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Diversity Council to highlight ‘Humans of VH’

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Every day, we come to school to learn. But of course, our learning experience is defined by those who learn with us. Their backgrounds, their cultures, and their stories are just as important in shaping our experience at Vernon Hills as the curriculum. With this in mind, it can be difficult to truly understand the experiences of others even though their perspectives can shape our learning. People tell us to “walk a mile in another’s shoes,” but how can we do that if we do not know the stories of the people around us? After all, everyone has a story to tell.

The Student Diversity Council (SDC) exists primarily to tell these stories. It exists to bring forth the narratives that help us understand who attends our school with us. Our goal is to highlight the fact that if we want to become the global citizens that modern society demands, we must learn about other perspectives beyond their textbook representations. However, as we strive to present the factors which make each student a unique individual, the Council also wants to remind us that we are the same in countless aspects.

So far, the Council has given presentations to a few different groups in the school. After the RITE assembly, we presented ourselves to the Freshman Class during Transition to spread awareness about our mission. On the school’s Opening Day in the Fall, we spoke to the entire school staff to present the findings of a survey the student body took last year, which highlighted how disparaging remarks about certain groups are most often made in the classroom, among other things.

In the near future, students at Vernon Hills are going to be seeing products of the Student Diversity Council and our #VHUnite campaign. Our largest initiative will be the “Humans of Vernon Hills” video campaign, which is based on the “Humans of New York” concept. Each month, we’ll be interviewing a student so the school can get to know them. We will capture their stories on video and give everyone a glimpse into how they think and feel. We want to give students a platform to express their individuality and help promote understanding within the student body. All types of diversity will be represented, including gender, religion, race, sexual orientation and more, to help people connect with each other and recognize the similarities they have with their peers.

We will also be creating posters and infographics highlighting the demographic information of our school. These posters will include information such as which languages Vernon Hills students speak at home and the different countries from which students originate.

Although the Council has only existed for a short amount of time, we believe that we can make a positive impact in the school by changing perspectives, increasing representation, and allowing students to truly walk a mile in each other’s shoes.

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