Diversity Club Goes Global for Upcoming Cultural Picnic


Diversity Club members discuss the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election, and plan for their upcoming Cultural Picnic.

Michael del Rosario, Production Editor-in-Chief

On Fri. Nov. 18, the MHS Diversity Club will be celebrating the many cultures present throughout MHS in its annual Cultural Picnic. The picnic will be held in the District Meeting Room of the MHS Media Center from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

“We are all cooking food and sharing music that represents different cultures. It’s just a chance to share what your culture and your past is,” said Diversity Club President Phoebe Morris, junior.

This year will be Diversity Club’s fourth year hosting the Cultural Picnic, and members aim to expand the event to be more inclusive. As a result, many of MHS’s other cultural clubs, such as the Asian Culture, French and Spanish clubs, will join in the festivities. Members and anyone attending are invited to share food from various backgrounds as well.

“We’re trying to make it bigger and get more people to come. We’re trying to make it more interactive and fun with trivia. It’s going to be great,” Morris said.

Junior Gertrude Palillo, Diversity Club secretary, also emphasized the need to grow the Cultural Picnic this year by getting more students involved.

“We dedicated a meeting to think of ideas for posters because we want to make sure we get the word out to everyone,” Palillo explained. “I also put together a Spotify playlist; people give me a lot of different kinds [of music], and I try to put variety in it with international and popular songs.”

Palillo has been in Diversity Club all throughout high school, but her interest in the club started before she was even in high school. Her older sister helped start the club when she was a senior, and Palillo always had an interest in discussing social issues.

“I understand how some people grow up only hearing one point of view. I want to be as open as I can, so I saw this as a good opportunity to see more than just one side and learn something new,” said Palillo.

These values for open-mindedness and cultural competency represent some of the key reasons that attracted Spanish Teacher Blair Winter to sponsor the club.

“I think, unfortunately in the United States, a lot of us are very close-minded. With globalization and different technologies, we’re much more able to access other parts of the world, and I think it’s more important to recognize different perspectives,” Winter explained.

By hosting the Cultural Picnic ever since Diversity Club was founded four years ago, students have demonstrated the importance of embracing different heritages. Club members recognize the need for an inclusive community at MHS, one of the most ethnically diverse schools in Lake County.

Palillo summarized her goal for this year’s picnic and Diversity Club’s continuing mission to spread cultural awareness.

“I hope we get some more people interested in Diversity Club. We definitely could use more members, especially underclassmen. I also hope everyone has a good time, enjoying the food and talking with other people.”