While riding in my moms’ SUV from another school event, volleyball game, dinner out, or trip to Costco, a song from 1980 something came on the radio…it said:
“I can’t understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand
People are people so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully
Help me understand”
I Goggled the lyrics, found Depeche Mode, an English electronic band, who wrote and sang the song. Ironically, they are a white boy band from England…It dawned on me that in every culture, country and community, there is diversity that may or may not be visible.
At the time, the term “transparency“ flooded the news and every government office and official was claiming to be basically see-through. As a news-loving public we have moved on from those buzz-words to others that involve inclusion, diversity, social justice, all the isms, blah, blah, blah. And yet, our government is more divided than ever.
I decided that my section of this big world needed to be reminded of our roots. We always go back to the Civil War, whisky, and country music here in middle Tennessee; but I wanted more for my community.
There is a lot of red tape to start a meaningful club at my high school so I turned to my counselor. I was able to work with a wonderful local historian and we began petitioning the Williamson County School board to name a newly built elementary school in Brentwood, TN after the highly decorated buffalo soldier named Sgt. George Jordan.
Our Diversity Leadership Project cohort shared with our local school board committee members the rich history Sgt. George Jordan and how he became the first black buffalo soldier from Williamson County, TN to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. The school board voted and we now have a beautiful new school named Jordan Elementary. You can see my video and more on the George Jordan tab at www.diversityleadershipproject.com
It has been a great experience leading such a talented and passionate group of my peers and I thank them all for their participation!
I may never understand what makes a man hate another man and I hope I never do… I plan to introduce subtle change and continue to make visible the diverse yet amazingly similar story we all tell: the story of loving our families and doing what we can to make this life as meaningful as possible.
For now, I’m a junior at Franklin High School in Franklin Tennessee in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and will graduate in the spring of 2020. It is my intention to study Architecture and minor in Spanish in college.
I enjoy being the co-captain of the FHS Rebel Clays Trap, Skeet and Sporting Clays competition team. Leading and working with students, local historians, and group leaders in the Diversity Leadership Project. On the Board for planning and organizing volunteers, raising money and signing sponsors for the Westhaven Foundation year round events that include the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Concert for the Cure. All while maintaining a 4.3 gpa and having a bit of fun with my friends and family!
I have so much more to tell you but I respect your time and appreciate you reading all the way to the bottom of my bio. Thank you!