Central students connect on a deeper level


Anna Pellegrino

A town hall meeting was held in the library throughout the day on Feb. 27. Students from different backgrounds were asked to speak about diversity and how it affects their daily lives.

The annual diversity town hall meeting was held on Thursday, Feb. 27 in the library. English classes from all grade levels had the opportunity (first come sign up) to spend their 50-minute class period enjoying the meeting and benefiting from the conversation several students engaged in. 

The meeting consisted of people from different races, ethnicities, and religions coming together and talking about different issues and stereotypes they face on a daily basis. Some talked about how the Central environment treats them and how welcome they feel in this school, while others shared difficult experiences they’ve had to face. 

“The panel was such an eye-opening experience for me, and I truly appreciated hearing perspectives of people from a variety of backgrounds,” said Catherine Dolan, senior and participated in the meeting. 

Anna Pellegrino
All students and faculty were welcome to observe and join in on the discussion during the Town Hall Meeting. Most students attended during their English classes.

Students that were a part of the discussion were seated in groups between four to six people, talking about issues they face every day regarding their cultural backgrounds. 

“I wanted to give people an insight on how it feels to be a person of color,” said Kendall Griffin, junior and participant at the Townhall meeting.

Mr. Bill Rasavongxay, head of the social studies department, sent out emails to students that were recommended by their teachers to talk at the Townhall meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to make students feel comfortable and not to be afraid when speaking about their problems and struggles they face.  

We started talking about the importance of using your personal lived experiences to create a counter-narrative to opposing viewpoints,” Rasavongxay said in the email sent to participants.

Students that were just observing the discussion later had an open Q&A where they got to either ask the participants questions about themselves or share their own insights about what they’ve been through and how to make Central an environment where everyone is welcome. 

“In my group, we talked about racist jokes and how a lot of people use them as a venue to be casually racist,” Dolan said. 

Participants proposed an idea of how Central can be a place where students learn about different cultures, rather than just briefly discussing something in history. For example, Black History Month should be appreciated more, rather than just learning about slavery during history class.