School initiative creates diversity


There has been a lot of emphasis on closing the racial academic achievement gap, but now ETHS is trying to unite the student body together in social situations outside of the classroom.
“It’s always good to learn across differences, but recognize that we’re all human beings and we all have shared experiences as well,” says Principal Marcus Campbell.
ETHS is one of the most racially and socioeconomically diverse high schools in the country, but the division between the student body is seen upon entering the cafeteria. Many students will sit with people of their own race. In the movie Mean Girls, which takes place in Evanston, this similar division is referred to as “the cafeteria tribes.”
It is true that many students prefer to stay within their own cliques, but SOAR (Students Organized Against Racism) is determined to get them out of their comfort zone.
“SOAR has made me look at this world differently, and by doing that I want to change it,” says senior Vicki Kosiba.
“We facilitate the taboo conversations that people want to or need to have, especially when they go to a school like ETHS that is filled with people of all backgrounds,” explains senior Michelle Pacheco.
SOAR focuses on bringing students of all backgrounds together to talk about important racial issues facing society and our school. SOAR adopted a national initiative called Freshman Mix-It-Up day that was held during lunch periods. It gives freshmen the opportunity to meet other freshmen that they normally wouldn’t get to know. It also gives students a chance to learn about each other, without regard to race, socioeconomic status.
“We are trying to create experiences where students can really build a capacity to have these conversations in a way that keeps everyone engaged and can go on to other spaces and continue it,” says Corey Winchester, coordinator of SOAR and history teacher.