Text and Photos by David W. ’19
On April 21, years of work culminated in the first-ever Diversity Fair at Lancaster Country Day School. The two-hour event was meant to “show people that we care about everyone in this school, no matter who they are or where they come from,” said Diversity Council co-President Andrew S. ’17.
The council seeks to promote diversity in the LCDS community. Over the last five years, it has become an influential organization with an ever-growing membership. Several years ago, according to co-presidents Aarica F. ’17 and Andrew S. ’17, a member of the council presented the idea for a fair to the community. That idea finally came to fruition last Friday.
“It’s been a lot of work. When we were elected co-presidents, Aarica and I immediately started to plan this project. The entire council put their hearts into it. We’ve spent hours and hours planning with the administration and fundraising,” Andrew said. “It’s been crazy.”
The hours paid off. The event was a huge success, with students, teachers, parents and alumni all in attendance Friday. To start off the afternoon, attendees gathered in the courtyard, listened to the jazz band perform and ate a variety of different foods from different cultures. Ribbons representing LGBT+ pride hung around doors and railings. Flags from dozens of different countries adorned the walls and the Pan-African flag hung in a window.
After the performance, everyone moved inside to the library. Speakers played music from a mix of different cultures and decades. Student-made trifold poster boards lined the room. Members of the Diversity Council stood and discussed topics such as feminism, education, wage disparity and body image.
“This is a way for us to show the world how proud we are of our identities,” said Madison B. ’17, the current president of the Gender-Sexuality Alliance at Country Day. “It’s a way for us to educate and learn from each other.”
There was one voice missing from the low hum of the crowd on Friday night. Co-president Aarica F. ’17 has not been able to speak for several months. Yet she was integral to the success of the fair. Aarica’s friends remarked that her undeniable energy and charm can always light up a room, even without a voice. Speaking to Cougar News, Aarica eloquently summed up the purpose of the fair through the Notes app on her phone.
“This whole process has been a real learning experience. Not being able to speak opened my eyes to all the people who don’t have a voice — either physically, or because they’re silenced by others with more power. That’s why I’m glad we did it. For the people who don’t have a voice: We hope this night was for you. And we hope you all learned something about diversity, because we truly are all diverse.”