Hart’s Equity and Diversity Collaborative presents: stories from our student body

The biggest adversity I have ever faced has been the school education system itself. Since being at Hart, I have never felt so lost when it comes to where I belong in groups. I have a sense ofa complete loss of identity and familiarity. My whole life I have been in my own bubble; I have been surrounded by Hispanic people, and  I haven’t really known anything else. I have never in my life felt out of place when it came to finding people just like me, but lately it feels like in almost every group I don’t exactly fit in. There are millions of things I haven’t heard of or tried. I feel like for people to like or understand me, I have to put on a completely different face, one that doesn’t show all the scarring of my adversity-filled life, because nobody really understands the truly difficult parts.  

Being born into a continuing cycle of poor education is difficult to break. Regardless, I am still expected to bring my family out of that endless loop if I want to live the illusion that is the American dream. I have to work three times as hard as any of my other peers. I have never had to so rawly face the reality that my life is determined by how wisely I spend every second of my education. I am doing all of this for the life that my parents never got to live. Every day I wake up and feel that whatever I put into the day affects not only my education but also my family. My future is all I have to lose, and I can almost always feel the entire weight of my whole family on my shoulders every second I breathe. 

I fear disappointing my parents and having them believe that all their sweat and pain was for nothing. From a very young age, I have had to get good grades in school and work harder than everyone else because our background predisposes a disadvantage. One of the worst parts is having no idea where to even start. I have no support system and I have high expectations wearing me down, but there is not even a fundamental base to start. I know that I am not the only child of an immigrant family who feels this way, and I believe Hart can be that support system for first-generation students. (Michelle Lovera)

The Equity and Diversity Collaborative is a group of students and staff who are committed to making Hart a more safe and inclusive space for all students. The committee was established at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, and as outlined by members of the group, the goals are as follows:

  • Create open lines of communication for students to talk about difficult conversations without prejudice
  • Identify and address weaknesses in inclusivity at our school site
  • Spread awareness and how topics can be hurtful to people, in turn how people can handle those topics
  • Provide education and work toward inclusiveness on all topics

ED Collaborative Mission Statement

The Equity and Diversity Collaborative seeks to make Hart High School a more welcoming and inclusive space for all. Together, we strive to promote unity on campus and to find ways to celebrate our diversity. Our common goal is to cultivate new ways to honor the unique identities of all individuals in our community. We stand firmly against prejudice, hate speech, and bullying. We reject discrimination in all forms, including but not limited to discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, perceived or actual gender identity, sexual orientation, ability level, socioeconomic status, nationality, and immigration status.

One of our action steps is to encourage members of the student body to share their stories related to inclusion and diversity. In other words, what have you learned about anti-racism and anti-prejudice over the years that you would be willing to share with the Hart student body?

Each issue, on behalf of the ED Collaborative, The Smoke Signal will be sharing a few stories submitted by Hart students and staff. The stories will aim to educate our school community about lessons we’ve learned over the years regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion. The goal is to work together to make Hart High School a more welcoming space for all individuals.