Multicultural and Unity Week

Capo celebrates all of its students with a week of inclusivity and diversity.

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Photo curtesy of Bonnie Selecky

Multicultural and Unity Week celebrates various art forms and cultures.

Colette Reitenour, Illustrator

Multicultural week has been a staple of Capo’s culture for years, on par with the STEAM showcase and Homecoming. In previous years, students could expect to see the quad packed with booths, classmates selling foods and crafts, live music, dances and art scattered throughout the halls promoting the week. In previous years the event was regarded as a light-hearted and fun celebration of Capo’s various cultures. This cheery atmosphere has carried through in some aspects, though this year’s fair took on a more retrospective and socially conscious tone. 

Inspired by the protests of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and other victims of police brutality, Alexa Ghalwash founded the CVHS Task Force against Racism and Social Inequality earlier this year. 

“I have two very loud older sisters with super big opinions and ideas. They’re great, but it always made me a bit hesitant to share my own opinions, especially on big issues like this. I always found that I was a bit scared to speak up and it kept me from putting myself out there, diving in the water, trying to learn, trying to share my opinion. I just kind of always assumed that there were people that were smarter that could handle this,” Ghalwash shared. “This past summer, going to a BLM protest, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, how is this the first time I’ve ever really advocated for any of this? I’ve had the idea around the whole time. I’m educated. I’m entitled to my opinion. I’m capable of this.’” 

Ghalwash worked with Principal John Misustin to form the CVHS Task Force. The club was involved in this year’s earlier No Place for Hate virtual assembly, and worked closely with ASB to integrate more socially empathetic events within Multicultural and Unity week.  

Capo has held student panels in the past, but this year’s Multicultural and Unity Week included a few webinars in hopes of giving students a voice to speak and learn about the complex issues within our society. Kenneth Enangleheart spoke about race and racism on Tuesday. Enangleheart talked about loan and housing industry discrimination in the 1950s through 70s and its effect on black families, forcing many into low-income neighborhoods. Later that week, Capo GSA and speakers Dr. Shuana Habel-Morgan and Taylor Dillard from the LGBTQ+ Center OC conducted a webinar centered around gender identity. These programs were an outstanding success as later in the week the halls were filled with students enthusiastic about the webinars and excited for any planned in the future. ASB intends to have a separate Unity Week in the future and host more opportunities for students to be heard and learn like this again. 

To celebrate Capo’s diversity, students were encouraged to share art important to their culture: culinary, visual and musical. On Monday, Capo’s Instagram page shared a cookbook composed of various recipes from all over the world. ASB worked with many of Capo’s clubs and featured recipes from the Philippines, Germany, Uganda, Ireland, Canada, Greece and more. The whole cookbook can be found here.

 

The third and fourth days of Multicultural and Unity Week featured visual art, creative writing and music from students. The Instagram featured several songs, including those from Japan, Egypt, Armenia, Vietnam and Russia. The page also highlighted a painting from the Hearts4Healing club, a poem from the Creative Writing Club and a Bhangra dance performance. 

Multicultural week took on a new identity this year, maintaining its fun showcase of culture, but also bringing light to social issues and cultivating conversations. ASB plans to continue this and students are delighted to address the current situation and better themselves.