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The Student News Site of Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

The Vanguard

The Student News Site of Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

The Vanguard

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Flags, food, and fun: One School One World celebrates cultures at the school

Event returns after 4-year hiatus to represent over 30 countries

For the first time since 2019, flags from all corners of the world waved in the Nicholas Athletic Center (NAC) over many cuisines for all to try at the school’s biggest multicultural event on May 20: One School One World. Over 400 community members RSVP’d to attend this Saturday morning event that typically runs every other year and is organized by the Office for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Global Education (DEIG), in coordination with parent and student volunteers.

“I like the idea,” Ari Kung ’24, a student, said. “It was great to see people representing all sorts of different cultures, and everyone could see slices of other cultures.”

There were over 50 tables and 30 cultural displays set up throughout the gym on the morning of the event, representing cultures from many countries and continents.

“It really encapsulates the idea that America is a big melting pot of the world,” Ari said.

Alisa Ishii ’23, one of three DEIG interns, organized the cultural performances for the event. She has been at the school since beginners and has seen the evolution of diversity at the school, she said. She appreciates the opportunity granted by One School One World to honor the many backgrounds present in the student and faculty bodies, she said.

“I have been to this event many, many times,” Alisa said. “When I was younger, the school felt very much like a predominantly white institution, and so I always looked forward to One School One World in the sense that people would get to celebrate other cultures.”

Alisa said she is proud of how much the school has grown in terms of diversity.

“I think for all of this to culminate for me, being so involved in the event, but also to reflect back as a senior, I can’t help but be sappy,” Alisa said. “This is one of the best One School One Worlds that’s happened in a while.”

Throughout the day, students, faculty, and parents from all three campuses performed on center stage with acts that included traditional songs, dances, and poems. Community Outreach and Engagement Specialist Candie Sanderson voiced her hope that people would leave the event with new knowledge about a culture they didn’t know much about before.

“I hope people leave the event feeling rejuvenated at this time of the year,” Ms. Sanderson said. “We’re all riding to the year’s finish line, so hopefully the event can be a joyful moment, and I hope it’s also an opportunity for people to learn more about someone they didn’t know, maybe someone they knew, but didn’t know their full story. It’s making the wholeness of who people are visible.”

Four parents volunteered their time to organize this year’s One School One World. Of those four, two were selected to be Family Planning Committee Co-Chairs, Hong Chen P ’22 ’27 and Nadia Waheed P ’26.

“One School One World is always one of my favorite events,” Ms. Chen said. “It’s fascinating and gives a strong sense of community. It’s a great way to build community, and it feels like the right time for me to give back to the school.”

A major component of a successful One School One World is a community of participation, Ms. Chen said. They ran multiple rounds of outreach through Knight News, the school’s weekly newsletter.

Given the four-year break since the last One School One World, the family planning co-chairs had to overcome the challenge of figuring out how to plan such an event, Dr. Waheed said.

“The last time they ran this event, it was [Former Director of Multicultural Services] Lewis Bryant and his team,” she said. “We started out thinking of what happened at a different time, and we had an idea in our mind that this is how it happens. Everyone loves it, and you certainly don’t want to mess that up, but, at the same time, we don’t have a blueprint or a roadmap of how to organize it.”

Dr. Waheed and Ms. Chen said the support of the DEIG team, including Ms. Sanderson, Director of Global Education Karina Baum, Upper School (US) Education Fellow in the DEIG office Jade DuVal, and DEIG Officer Leila Bailey-Stewart helped them ensure the vision for One School One World came to fruition.

“This event is a really important part of BB&N,” she said. “And not just because it helps BB&N showcase its diversity, but also because of the message that it gives to students around how their identity is valued and how their identity makes the school what it is and how the school would not be the same if they were not different from other people around them.”

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About the Contributor
Darius Sinha, Off Campus Editor
Fun fact: I like learning how to cook different ethnic cuisines.

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