The Wilson Beacon

Solving Wilson’s diversity problems requires aggressive change

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Solving Wilson’s diversity problems requires aggressive change

Nikki Keating

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There is a clear diversity problem at Wilson. We see it in our clubs, classrooms, and even the cafeteria. Students constantly complain about this diversity problem but are also blind to the reality that the problem stems from some of the choices they make.

While these actions aren’t intentional, this unconscious decision making divides the school into two catagories: white and non-white. In the hallways and classrooms, black students gravitate to black students and white students stick with their white peers. This self-inflicted segregation of all groups is having intense ramifications on every aspect of life at Wilson. People join clubs, do theater, play sports and The Beacon because their friends are doing it, and if friendships are dictated by race as is so obvious to see if you spend ten seconds in the atrium at lunch, then these clubs become segregated inadvertently, dominated by one race. This is why sports like football and basketball are majority black while sports like baseball and crew are majority white.

This isn’t uncommon knowledge as students sometimes refer to Wilson as “White Wilson” and “Black Wilson.” There is a certain level of compliance when it comes to addressing the problem of non-diverse friend groups which is probably because you can’t force students to disband from their groups. But then the solution to these issues becomes much more complicated because you also can’t force kids to join clubs which leads to activities like theatre or the beacon to be less diverse.

But these problems can be solved. Being aware of racial diversity is one of the most important steps. Being knowledgeable in the topic creates an environment in school where it is easier to point out and fix diversity problems that arise. But being self-aware also means putting your best foot forward. This means joining activities and clubs not simply because your friends are doing them, but because you are individually interested in it. This also means clubs need to make sure that everyone who is interested is welcomed and have an open mind when the person joining isn’t one of your best friends. Avoiding the problem and letting clubs stay non-diverse contributes to a divided Wilson and prevents Wilson from becoming more of a diverse community.

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Solving Wilson’s diversity problems requires aggressive change