HISD’s Multilingual Programs Department hosted its inaugural Multicultural Day celebration on Saturday, May 20, at Wisdom High School. The event was the brainchild of Law Elementary fifth-grader Kadence Smith, winner of this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Speech Competition.
In partnership with the Family and Community Engagement (FACE), Special Education, College and Career Readiness, and Gifted and Talented departments, organizers worked to create an event that highlighted the incredible diversity of the district with cultural performances, a student art exhibit, guest speakers, and hands-on activities.
Student performances included mariachi bands from Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School and Ortiz Middle School, the Atherton Elementary School drumline, a K-Pop dance routine by Bellaire High School students, readings by students from Madison High School, and much more.
Students from dozens of participating campuses dressed in clothing representative of their cultures and heritages and presented slideshows to educate Multicultural Day attendees about how their diverse histories shape them as people and as members of the HISD community. Campus booths manned by students displayed information about different cultures. Participants played music and shared snacks from different countries, and most booths displayed student artwork celebrating the artists’ diverse backgrounds.
“I feel that it’s vital to celebrate Multicultural Day because it allows people of all ages to foster respect and open mindedness for each other’s cultures,” said Smith. “Celebrating each other’s differences and similarities helps us to unite.”
Smith was inspired by her own diverse heritage and her struggles feeling isolated as a mixed-race person. Not feeling white enough or black enough to consider herself one race or the other, Smith hopes that Multicultural Day will help others to acknowledge the importance of embracing the things that make them unique.