Cultural diversity club celebrates global heritages

Senior Mihika Iyer and counselor Erin.Gardner run the cultural diversity club on Thursdays during first shift power hour in room 256.

The club was started three years ago by Malvika Khadiya, who was an inspiration to Iyer. Iyer has been leading the club since she was a sophomore because “I wanted to create a safe place for people, just like in the past, it was safe for me.” 

She said three years ago it “was a space for me to be open about my experience and thoughts. It changed my perspective on many things because I was able to hear experiences of others in the club. This club is for everyone of color, race and religion where you can share your experiences about your life and how you grew up in your culture.”

Iyer said she really saw the need because of troubles with intolerance that she experienced earlier. “When I was younger, kids in my class made fun of my culture’s food, and when my mom heard about this, she made food for my whole class so they could try the food in my culture, and they liked it,” Mihika said. 

The club had a food fair last year of many types of food from cultures around the world, and around 200 people came to try it. There are about seven people in this group right now, including junior Amy and sophomore Casey Trans, two sisters who are vietnamese. They were both born in the United States. Senior Elene Kodanashili Is from the country of Georgia. She was born in Indiana. She said she got bullied about her name a lot, but it’s a really pretty name and is also pronounced differently in Georgia. Junior Sana Tabei Is Persian. She was born in Canada. Sophomore Prisha Tol is Indian but was also born in the United States. Junior Suriana Accuedi is Puerto Rican. She was never judged but she said her parents have had racist comments directed at them. 

All their parents came to the United States and now their children are trying to use the cultural diversity club to celebrate and share the things that their parents did.

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