A triad of tradition

Justice and Diversity League puts up display educating students on three groups


Photo by Kaitlin Reynolds

Throughout the month of May, a display covering Asain Pacific Islander Americans, Arab Americans and Pride was hung in front of the library. Justice and Diversity League combined their displays for the months of April, May and June due to a lack of time, in order to ensure that students could learn about the groups. “Justice and Diversity League has been doing these displays for about 10 years,” Justice and Diversity League sponsor Bryant Bull said. “We started doing a diversity in education display as a general awareness project about 10 years ago and we’ve branched out to individual displays by month over the last six years.”

Kaitlin Reynolds, News Director

 In 1990, George H.W. Bush set aside the month of May to celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. At Millard West however, two additional minority groups are being recognized in order to further support both Arab American and LGBTQIA+ students on top of Asian and Pacific Islander American students.

Due to a lack of time between Spring Break and other conflicts at the beginning of fourth semester, Justice and Diversity League was unable to put up their Arab American Heritage Month display in April — when the group is traditionally honored. In addition, the club wanted to include Pride month, which occurs in June when students are not in school and celebrates LGBTQIA+ lives. To resolve this issue, a combination of Asian and Pacific Islander American, Arab American and Pride displays were hung up in front of the library on Tuesday, May 10 and 17 for students to observe and learn from. 

“We wanted to put up all three groups to make sure that everyone felt included,” sophomore Hagar Eleraky said. “I think it is important because America is a mixing pot of all different cultures and alot of students are uneducated about other races and cultures.”

Included on the wall are a combination of visual and textual elements about each group for students to learn from: photos, historical figures and events, descriptions, flags and book titles. There are also interactive elements such as QR codes that link to pop culture symbols including music and movies.

“We spent time during our weekly meetings and outside of school working both individually and in small groups,” Justice and Diversity Leauge sponsor Bryant Bull said. “These are all driven by our club members, so they decide what goes into the displays by adding ideas to Google Docs. This way club members who can’t regularly attend meetings know what they can do to contribute.”

For the past 10 years Justice and Diversity League have put up monthly displays for the purpose of making all minority students at Millard West feel seen. Each year they add additional elements and walls. This year was the first time that Arab American culture was celebrated with its own section. Incorporating more cultures has been a focus for the group and was the reasoning behind the triad display. 

“I have already seen a lot of people go up to the display and point at their flags and reading the display, and they all looked super happy that it was there,” sophomore Margaret Scott said. “I feel like just having the displays up in general helps to open up students’ minds.”

Come the end of the school year, the display will be taken down but the information included will reside with students. In order to continue to share the history of previously oppressed groups, Justice and Diversity League will fill the wall with new cultures come fall.