Sleeping in, either participating in or watching the multicultural celebration, and not to mention dodging the burden of a Monday class day, MLK day was a success! The day begun with the annual Unity Breakfast, where students, teachers, local members of the community, and outside speakers opened the day with music by the glorious Gospel Choir.
After listening to Ambassador Joseph in Bingham, students sat through each of their requested movie options. Most movies ran for about 90 minutes and seemed bearable to most students to sit through. While many students learned a few terms or ideas, the movie “I’m not Racist, Am I?” certainly defied this standard. With the classic line to grab the attention of the slouching Taft students in Bingham, “All white people are racist”, students began to passionately debate the real definition of racism. Discussions followed directly after the screening of each movie; some conversations became a giant uproar, while others simply regurgitated the information received from each film. All in all, the Taft student body demonstrated a serious level of maturity when it came to this prevalent topic, not only in our Taft bubble, but also in our country.
Preceding Monday, the weekend was jam-packed with several activities to celebrate Taft’s diversity. Starting with the second annual World Fest, students and teachers represented over 30 countries and 40 states. Travelling between the choral and faculty rooms, there was a plethora of tables set up with traditional food and music. Rumor has it the Jamaican table was booming with some reggae jams, smoking jerk chicken, and finger-licking patties. Roberto Garcia surely represented his Spanish roots, and gave me a newfound respect for Spanish desserts. To quote head monitor Caroline Elliot, “If you haven’t you tried Vietnamese coffee, I surely advise you to- that is if you don’t mind ruining Starbucks forever.” Following the overwhelming amount of food, the next item on the agenda was dancing. The Latin Dance Club, led by Pam Armas ’16, taught some of us stiff prep school kids a thing about the bump and grind. With newly acquired dancing skills, students demonstrated what they had learned at the International Dance in East Dining Hall.
Going to the closing celebration of our “somewhat long weekend”, the multicultural celebration was a phenomenal demonstration of Taft’s diverse background. With students singing songs native to their countries or cultures, Tise Ben-Eka and Jennifer Jeon’s “Bad Blood” resembling squad of KPOP singers, and heart-warming poetry delivered by the SeArah Smith and Lauren Fadiman duo, and Tawanda Mulalu, the crowd was going insane.
To wrap up a weekend of festivities and celebration, the student body and faculty were led out by the band of Latino/a and Caribbean dancers of the Latin Dance Club.
In closing, from the entire student body, we would like to send our gratitude to all of those who aided in the assembling of this past weekend and all of its fun activities. Another special thank you goes out to Ms. Lee, Juste Simanauskaite, and Zygimantas Jievaltas.