The new Movie Mondays committee, which screens movies that highlight diversity, presented their first movie, “Hidden Figures,” to students before Peer Support on Monday.
Science teacher and Coordinator of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Nate Cardin, affinity group leaders and students created the monthly events to highlight diverse voices. The committee said that the goal of the movie screenings is to feature many movies that include different voices, stories and perspectives. Though Cardin said that the next movies have not been selected, the organizers want to screen movies that students would be entertained by yet still learn from.
“I think the research shows that a lot of fear or distrust of others often results simply from lack of exposure to different groups or their ways of life,” Cardin said in an email. “In no way are we trying to lecture or cajole anyone into any beliefs; rather, we hope that people come to see great movies and maybe leave having experienced a bit more of a culture, experience or way of life that they hadn’t considered before.”
Viewers said that they appreciate that Movie Mondays is trying to promote inclusivity and allow students to have different perspectives.
“I think that it’s incredibly important that the school is trying to promote diversity,” Vice President of La Femme Becca Frischling ’19 said. “It’s important that everyone at school feels like they are accepted and a vital part of the community.”
The first viewing of Movie Mondays follows the creation of the DEI office, affinity group meetings and diversity training for teachers. Organizers of the event said they are optimistic about the steps the school is taking to include more diversity.
“Representation matters so much,” Cardin said in an email. “Community members may not always feel fully represented at or by our school, so it’s our job to do the legwork to make our community members feel increasingly included. A kid who doesn’t see their background or heritage reflected in anything else the school does might see it in one of our movies and feel a bit more like the school sees them for who they truly are. That’s important!”