Uniting in a time of division


Emily Sackley

In the world right now, there is a lot of division: hate crimes, discrimination, and an “us vs. them” attitude aimed at immigrants. However, at Nazareth, we have many clubs and programs in place to discourage discrimination and to make everyone’s voices heard. We as a school try to encourage unity instead of division.

One type of discrimination that is prevalent in the world is religious discrimination. This past October, there was a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Armed with an assault rifle and at least three handguns, a man yelling anti-Semitic slurs, opened fire, killing 11 congregants and wounding four police officers. Many officers called this the “most horrific crime scene” they have seen in over 20-years.

Another type of discrimination that still exists is gender discrimination. According to the police, Scott Paul Beierle walked into Hot Yoga Tallahassee on November 2nd, killed two women, and injured five others before turning the gun on himself. Beierle had allegedly made numerous misogynistic comments in YouTube videos and appeared resentful towards women.

Not only are religious and gender discrimination present at this time, but also racial and cultural discrimination. Several thousand Central American migrants spent over a month travelling by foot as they moved toward the western Mexico City of Guadalajara and towards the US border. The migrants travelled about 1,200 miles since leaving Honduras in mid-October. Throughout the journey, many have suffered from extreme heat, exhaustion and lack of resources.

The caravan has become a political issue in the US, and President Trump ordered the deployment of over 5,000 military troops to the border to fend off the migrants. Trump has insisted that many in the caravan are criminals and even terrorists.

Many say they are running from rampant poverty, gang violence and political insecurity, mostly in the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Mexico has offered refuge, and its government has issued nearly 2,700 temporary visas to refugees in order to cover them during the 45-day application process for a less temporary status. Still, most migrants vow to keep on going until they reach the US.

While there is so much division in our world, we at Nazareth do all we can to unite. When asked what the world language department does to unite diverse cultures, Mrs. Balge says, “There are a number of things we do to promote diversity. The French, Italian, and Spanish clubs invite people to participate in many different activities. We just celebrated national French week throughout the school, and last year, we had a love wall in Springer Hall to show diversity throughout the school.”

When asked how Diversity Club is helping to overcome divisions and bring awareness to celebrating our differences, Mrs. Kokontis says, “The mission of the Diversity Club is to promote cross-cultural understanding and build a positive relationship among all members of our community, promoting understanding and respect for all cultures in our school community. The club does this by acknowledging our diversity, educating the school community about our diversity and celebrating the diversity in our school community.  The Diversity Club also provides a forum for discussion and support for the diverse groups within the school.” All of Diversity Club’s activities activities are designed to promote greater understanding and celebrate differences and provide support to the diverse group of students at our school.

One of the four pillars of Nazareth is unity, and our school is definitely living it.