Diversify Our Narrative or DON for short is a campaign that aims to target school boards through student-led petitions which call for at least one book written by a person of color, sharing their experiences and stories, to be taught in every english class.
To get more inside info I did an interview with the district lead Melanie Robles about the up and coming club at Rialto High School. Here is what she had to say …
Q: Who or what inspired you to start the club at Rialto?
A: I felt helpless in the BLM movement since I was not able to go protest and signing petitions didn’t seem to be enough. I understood that this was a movement not just a moment and the most important place to begin change is school. I thought starting a club where the students would take back their power in their curriculum while making informative posts on social issues was a club that RHS needed.”
Q: When did you start the club?
A: The club began in summer before school started, but it became official in September 2020!
Q: What are some goals you would like this club to accomplish?
A: The main goal is to come to a consensus with the school board and teachers on a new diverse English curriculum that includes all voices. Then the club will begin to fundraise money for new books and create a team of English teachers who will make sure the curriculum is taught properly. Meanwhile, the goal is to inform all RHS students about important issues and learn how to respect one another.”
Q: Why is it important for students, especially high school students, to learn about diversity?
A: Stereotypes, racial slurs, microaggressions make school an uncomfortable setting for BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color). The classroom teaches students to have empathy for BIPOC students. Overall, learning about diversity closes the gap of understanding between different groups to create a learning environment beneficial to everyone.
Anyone interested in DON can find information on their Instagram @diversifyournarrative_rusd or can contact the club advisor Mrs. Kromas. There is also an official website for the DON organization that can provide some additional details about the cause.