On Friday, March 13, the Diversity Committee sponsored a diversity experience to enable the Villa Maria community to recognize the many dimensions of diversity and the broad, complex, and dynamic nature of human difference and similarity.
The day began with the distributions of blue and yellow wristbands embossed with the IHM charism of love, creative hope, and fidelity. Bands were given to students, faculty, and staff. Throughout the day adults based some of their treatment of students and each other on what color wristband the person was wearing. Some adults gave candy to those whose band color matched their own. Other teachers let girls with a particular color leave first, or do less work. The exercise was designed to demonstrate and personalize the arbitrary and unfair nature of discrimination.
The day concluded with a viewing of the 1970 documentary film A Class Divided, in which a third grade teacher in Iowa conducted a similar exercise with her young students. Following the film, the diversity committee led a discussion of the day’s events.
On Wednesday, March 11, four members of the Villa’s Diversity Committee attended Diversity Night at Malvern Prep on March 11. The students watched the film Crash and discussed diversity issues over pizza.
The student members of the diversity committee are Madeline Abbot, Devi Donthineni, Bridget Forde, Grace Kuroki, Maggie McNamara, Marcy Carini, and Rosemary Nti-Gyabaah.