By Marbeya Garcia-Bermudez
As a Latina woman I knew I had a lot to learn at the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC). Therefore, when I saw that the majority of the students attending were black and white I began to question the purpose of the conference. Wasn’t it to empower and unite all minorities? Wasn’t it to band us all together to become so strong we’d overtake the world? Nope, this conference wasn’t any of the theories people thought about when I mentioned the SDLC. The main purpose of the conference was to address the diversity among private schools, which are commonly thought of as incredibly homogenous. At this conference we discussed gender, ability, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion, age and sexual orientation. By the end we all knew we were diverse and not just by ethnicity.
By the end of the conference, many of my new friends from SDLC and I shared one common thought: We’re prepared to help prevent the cycle of oppression. From little remarks to discriminatory jokes, we want to stop the ignorance. Yes, I’m going to college and will not be getting pregnant like some of my friends. Instead of focusing on the stereotypes, we’d like to celebrate the diversity. There are so many beautiful things that we forget about each other’s cultures that we should reevaluate. For example, in the Hispanic culture family is so valued that many people let their older parents into their homes to live. Additionally, Latin America has come so far that there have been a number of female presidents. Why not learn from each other?
In the end, this conference taught me a lot about my dreams for this school and America. We’re a melting pot and should embrace it instead of focusing on the dividing politics. Not only did immigrants found this country, but also a multitude of diverse individuals. We should celebrate each other because we have the opportunity to do so. As a relatively modern country we have the resources to embrace one another. So even if it’s with a small contribution like chips and salsa during Diversity Club meetings I’d like to help further the diversity at SA. Cheers to diversity!