Diversity: there’s more to it than you thought


If you haven’t heard Calvin Terrell speak, you’re missing out.

To motivate students and talk about the power of diversity, guest speaker Calvin Terrell will be visiting on Oct. 7, appearing before 800 freshman at the annual Freshman Assembly.

“Terrell’s message is to focus on being a better person to friends, family and people who don’t look like you or share the same culture,” explained Principal Marcus Campbell.

Terrell’s third visit comes after unprecedented support from students and parents.

“I didn’t talk to a single person who didn’t think he was an amazing speaker,” said junior Lauren Davis.

In addition to addressing diversity, stereotypes and microaggressions, Terrell talked about treating others with respect. At one point in his speech, students were given the option to go on stage and apologize to people they had wronged.

“My freshman year 50 people got on stage to apologize to their parents and friends,” said sophomore Maia Robinson. “They seemed very genuine.”

As an experienced professional speaker, Terrell speaks on stage for the entirety of his visit. But unlike other presenters, Terrell doesn’t use any audio clips, movies or other media in his talk.

“I’ve never heard a speaker talk to kids for hours and keep everyone engaged” stated Campbell. “It’s a miracle.”

This year, Terrell will also be addressing staff. On Oct. 5 Terrell spoke to the staff after an early dismissal day.

Davis is glad that Terrell’s message is spreading. “The teachers have more power than they realize with the way they treat their students and they way they allow their students to treat each other,” she explained.

For freshman, Terrell’s speech is a way to start off their high school career on the right foot. “I think it’s important that freshman hear about diversity and being kind,” said freshman Owen Travis.