Speaker has impact

Hannah Stanley, Sports Editor

On Sept. 6, speaker, educator and community builder Calvin Terrell spoke to the MHS community about the topic of equity, which became the school’s focus for the year.

Further training for the faculty, staff and student groups occurred in which Terrell returned to perform various equity-related and team-building activities to create an environment more open to talking about some traditionally uncomfortable topics.

One student who said she felt particularly inspired by Terrell was Senior Khari Thompkins.

“The Calvin Terrell experience really allowed me to gain a new perspective on life,” she said. “It makes me see things differently.”

Thompkins, along with other students, helped organize Lunch and Learns this year to further Terrell’s message. These events were meant to provide a safe environment for the students to express their opinions on various topics from diversity and equity to privilege.

“The Lunch and Learns are great. Being that I am a part of the committee that created this plan, I’ve seen the changes that it has brought in our school,” Thompkins said. “All students are welcomed; all opinions and beliefs are welcomed. This is to create a safe environment for all students to say how they feel.”

Many students also participated in the school’s first cultural fair– an idea originally presented by Senior Jillian Hoffstadt– as a way to celebrate the student body’s diversity. Booths run by students in the Commons area displayed information, artifacts and food from different countries and ethnicities.

“[The cultural fair] really benefited our school,” Thompkins said. “Bringing all cultures together to teach others about where they originate from was awesome. This really changed the dynamic of the school; kids were able to learn a little more about their peers and where they come from.”

These events show that Terrell had a lasting impact on the students this year.

“I believe students now are more open to accepting people who are different than them,” Thompkins said. “I definitely think this was because of Calvin because he highlighted so much of how people coming together will always be more effective than being divided.”