On Thursday, March 12, the Equity Ambassadors will host a celebration that unites seven diverse organizations that are central to the Freeman community along with many student performers and representatives of cultures through the Freeman Family Culture Day.
Ms. Carter Reilly, a sponsor of the Equity Ambassadors, said that “the Equity Ambassadors are in charge of organizing, leading, and bringing Culture Day to fruition.” To expand upon the Culture Day celebration of the past school year, Equity Ambassadors collaborated with the foreign language department, History and Human Rights Club, National Art Honor Society, H.O.L.A. Club, Tri-M, and the Step Team to produce a grand celebratory event that showcases a diverse array of the Freeman Family.
“Culture Day will start with an introduction from the Equity Ambassadors followed by performances from the H.O.L.A. Club’s Latin X Motion group, Step Team, and Tri-M,” according to Ms. Reilly. The Culture Day will showcase a broad range of activities, cultures, and performances into a single event that will last from 4:15 to 6:30 on Thursday.
As the Executive Caucus of the Equity Ambassadors, senior David Lim was tasked with “overseeing operations to ensure that everything gets done before the event.” According to David, the “main components of Culture Day” are the student presentations and cultural fashion show. During the student presentations, a variety of Freeman students “will be sharing an aspect of their identity, such as their ethnic origin, race, sexual orientation, and the experiences that they entail,” David explained.
Junior Jianna Young is an Equity Ambassador who contributed to the scheduling and advertisement of Culture Day. Appearing on the morning announcements to spread the word about the upcoming Culture Day, Jianna “think[s] the biggest thing is getting the word out” about the Freeman Family Culture Day.
Another Equity Ambassador and member of the National Art Honor Society who helped to spread the word about Culture Day is junior Jenna Matthews, who “contribut[ed] to Culture Day, by building a website that will […] give more detail into Culture Day.” Jenna applied her skillset as an art student and “produced the art for the website [and] created the main printable poster to inform students of Culture Day.”
This year, the organizers of Culture Day emphasized making the event “something that is accessible to everyone in this building […] where everybody can come and just enjoy the day and enjoy partaking in various cultural events,” according to Spanish teacher and sponsor of History and Human Rights Club Erica Beard. The entire event of Culture Day, therefore, is free of charge to students and their families.
According to art and ceramics teacher Elizabeth Jones, the National Art Honor Society is contributing to Culture Day through providing several activities that the “community could take part in.” Ms. Jones hopes to expose the entire Freeman community to “positive experiences at our high school” through student-drawn portraits, henna, and crafts in the art classrooms.
Culture Day will be concluded by Holi, a “festival of colors [and] celebration of diversity” that originated in Indian culture, Mrs. Beard said. The Freeman celebration of Holi was organized by the History and Human Rights Club. Students will “get out there and throw colors at each other” in a grand, colorful celebration of Holi and conclusion to Culture Day, Mrs. Beard said.
With “Pakistani, Turkish, Egyptian, Hindu, African-American, Hispanic, and more” cultures of the Freeman Family represented, Culture Day is an opportunity for students to “learn more about other cultures and gain more knowledge of the backgrounds of their peers,” according to Mrs. Reilly.
David Lim elaborated that the “diversity and different life experiences of our student body is something we should be proud of.” Culture Day provides all Freeman students with an opportunity to “come learn about the culture and lives of other Freeman students.” David said that, after all, “that’s what the ‘Freeman Family’ is all about.”