Sacred Heart Academy Diversity Week 2022!

Fashion Show Participants with Speaker Justin Farmer

In the week of February 14th, going from the 14th to the 18th, Sacred Heart Academy held its annual diversity week, sponsored by the school’s diversity club, SHAdes of SHA and their faculty advisor Mrs. Jamil. The week was filled with a variety of activities to help bring people of different communities throughout our school together, to help foster new experiences of learning and cultural appreciation, and to ultimately foster a more supportive and diverse SHA community. The week also included a book drive for New Haven Reads. The activities spanned the entire school week with Monday starting off as a “Movie Monday” with a viewing of Guava Island. Tuesday included activities by the Chinese club, and Wednesday was an afternoon of Bollywood Dancing with senior, Mehr Chhatre. Thursday was a celebration for Black History Month complete with snacks and games. And finally Friday was the always greatly anticipated Diversity Assembly with the fan-favorite fashion show, a speech by Justin Farmer and dance performance by MegaHurtz Dance Company. Secretary of SHAdes of this year, junior Zara Tariq, looks back on the week saying, “I thought diversity week was amazing, everyday we had different activities that all the members enjoyed and bonded over! The assembly was definitely my favorite, I loved seeing all the beautiful cultures that our school is made up of as well as the fantastic dance by MegaHurtz dance company and Justin’s speech!”

Each activity throughout the week highlighted a different culture and different aspect of our beautiful SHA community. Monday’s movie Guava Island with Rihanna and Donald Glover, served as a “parable for artistry and capitalism” (Mordeau 2019). The film helped convey not only ideas of culture, but ideology and art as well. Tuesday’s event centered around activities and traditional Chinese games with our school’s Chinese Club.

Chinese Club Activity

Chinese Club president, Ava Guidet looks back on the activity saying, “On Tuesday of Diversity of Week, Chinese club hosted two traditional Chinese games. Both of the games gave students a chance to experience the Chinese culture in an authentic way!”. Wednesday’s after-school activity was a Bollywood Dance Class with senior Mehr Chhatre. The activity included learning a brief dance on the Bollywood song “Morni Banke”, from the popular film, “Badhai Ho”. The dance had typical Bollywood dance steps, but also Punjabi folk dance steps as well.

Bollywood Dancing

Thursday’s activity was a celebration for Black History Month which was celebrated by the school throughout the Month of February through sharing the stories of various influential Black women from all industries, time periods, and walks of life. Thursday’s celebration included games and snacks, and helped to foster that sense of community within the school.

Friday’s assembly was the large, and always eagerly anticipated culmination for Diversity Week. The assembly began with a speech by Justin Farmer, an elected official serving on the Hamden Legislative Council representing the 5th district. After sharing stories from his life, and encouragement to our whole school community, the dance company, MegaHurtz Ent. performed an invigorating dance performance that got the school community extremely excited and energized.

MegaHurtz Performance with Candace Lavache in the front

MegaHurtz Dancer, junior Candace Lavache, looks back on performing at the Diversity Week assembly saying, “It was a fun experience as I enjoyed being able to share what I love to do with my school, friends, and community. I hope to be able to bring the team back to perform next year with new and exciting pieces.” Lastly, the assembly concluded with a fan favorite event, the SHA fashion show. There were girls from each grade participating, representing a variety of different countries all over the world, such as India, Pakistan, Philippines, Nigeria, France, Mexico, and many more. The fashion serves as a beautiful, physical representation of all the diversity we hold in our SHA community. It encourages all of us to appreciate one another as we are, and work to learn and connect with each other more and more. Diversity Week is a honored tradition at SHA because of all it represents, and all it encourages us to do. It reminds us of how diverse our school is, and how it is through diversity that we grow and create a more supportive and beautiful school community for all.