MultiCulti brings a new crowd to the MultiCulti Week events

August Ackley, Staff Writer

  Every fall, the leadership group Multi Culti, comprised of leaders of each affinity space, organizes Multi Culti Week, a week of forums and panels aiming to promote multicultural life at The Urban School and engage a diverse range of students. Affinity spaces are lunchtime clubs that are “closed”, meaning that attendees are only students who identify with the group and open members that want to be involved in diversity life at The Urban School. Multi Culti week is intended to be more of a celebration of culture rather than a time intended solely for difficult conversations. This year, Multi Culti week ran through Monday, October 24th to Friday, October 28th.

  To kick off Multi Culti week, musician Joe Kye came to Urban to play music and to speak to students and faculty during an all-school meeting. Kye was once an English teaching fellow at The Urban School. Today, he is a violinist who creates a unique sound that according to Sacramento News and Review, “leaves everyone in awe.” He combines genres such as jazz, pop and world-folk music. During lunch after the all-school meeting, there was a question and answer session in which students inquired about his experience growing up as a Korean-American immigrant in the United States and further discussed his musical career.

  Multi Culti also addressed the difficult conversations about costumes that come along with The Halloween Assembly, an important part of Urban’s Halloween celebration. The next day, Clarke Weatherspoon, our Dean of Equity and Inclusion, gave a presentation to all grades  about cultural appropriation in the context of Halloween costumes.

  On Wednesday, there was a panel featuring a representative from each affinity space leader. Each panelist spoke about their experience being a leader at the Urban School, and the myriad challenges that come with this responsibility. Kaylah Breiz (‘17) and Leah Baron (‘18) are both leading SWEAR this year (Students For Women’s Equality and Rights), and Breiz was one of the panelists representing the group. “[The panel] refined the mission of [Multi Culti] and emphasized their power to unify the many voices of Urban students,” Baron said, reflecting on the event.

  Friday featured another panel of several Urban School faculty members who talked about their experiences with interracial dating and relationships. This event had the highest turnout. The panelists, all of whom were teachers of diverse backgrounds and experiences, talked about their experiences with interracial dating today and throughout their high school years.

  This year’s Multi-Culti week was a success and engaged many students. Now that the Urban School is in the midst of its winter term, all students, even those who did not attend any of the Multi Culti week events this year, can look forward to the Month of Understanding in January.