Unveiled and Unboxed

Co-Editor-in-Chief There are a lot of things that make Latin special. We have an OmniGlobe, duck in the cafeteria sometimes, and incredible classes offered to us. But there’s something intangible that makes Latin more special, and that’s the openness of the community to talk about difficult issues. Assemblies have shown us this time and time again, and the presentation of Unveiled was no exception. Unveiled, a one-woman show by Rohina Malek, told the stories of five Muslim women in a post-Muslim world. It told stories of the pain that results from discrimination and way to overcome it. The auditorium was intently focused, hanging on Ms. Malek’s every word. The performance overall seemed well accepted, sparking conversations between students and teachers. The most exciting conversation, however, happened in a new forum (no pun intended). The Diversity and Equity Committee, launched this year, has been holding conversations about breaking out of our boxes and looking at how we approach other people. The most amazing aspect of the conversations, though, is the openness between students and faculty. In Thursday, January 17th’s meeting, led by senior Cam Arkin, junior Nour Hatoum, and junior Merlynn Pierre, one of the activities was to discuss how we might put others into boxes unconsciously. Looking around the room, I saw something perhaps unprecedented. We were admitting times we’ve been accidentally discriminatory to people we hardly knew. That’s the value of community: openness. Talking about these issues is the first step. The conversations in the breakfast, as Ms. Arif so eloquently put it, are “I” conversations. It’s taking a step back and saying, “I do this.” Often, we talk about times we were discriminated against or others discriminated against someone else. But these conversations are about admitting that we subconsciously place people in boxes, even if it’s just to protect ourselves. It’s about opening up and saying that, as individuals, we make mistakes and don’t follow the Golden Rule of treating others the way we’d like to be treated. The conversations will continue; the Diversity and Equity Committee will have many more breakfasts. Unfortunately, this past breakfast was not publicized as well as the last one. (In fact, because of this, I ended up walking into a Student Government meeting by mistake — sorry, Ian.) I’m hopeful that the upcoming breakfasts will be publicized farther in advance to show off how great the committee is. Plus, it will only become more effective if more people come. This isn’t a plug for the committee; it’s a recommendation. Even if you think to yourself that you’re just a white kid, that doesn’t matter. We’re all more than our boxes, just like the women that Ms. Malek portrayed are more than their hijabs. I don’t care if your box is “Forum editor” or “basketball player” or “Puerto Rican”; we all have something to say about this. And there are free bagels and coffee.]]>