Studying Cultural Diversity

Hoover introduces new course for the 2021-22 year

Social Studies teacher Mr. Jim Draher teaches the new Race and Diversity class at Hoover. Its curriculum details the history of diverse cultures in America.

Zoe Yatras

Social Studies teacher Mr. Jim Draher teaches the new Race and Diversity class at Hoover. Its curriculum details the history of diverse cultures in America.

Alexis Spangler, Business Manager

Hoover High School introduced a new course for the 2021-22 school year: Race and Diversity.
“This semester-length course will examine the history of race and diversity in America. Students will gain an understanding of the roles that race and diversity can have in our society. This class will expose students to the changing cultural diversity within the United States, discuss racial and ethnic relations, and examine religious diversity and the history of racial segregation,” according to 2021-22 Hoover Course Description Book.
Mr. Jim Draher teaches this course, addressing the importance of this class, particularly in its part in educating students on the nation’s diverse cultures and ethnicities.
“The class is designed to take a look at marginalized groups throughout the history of the United States,” Draher said. “The United States is made up of so many different people with so many different backgrounds. It is important to look at those groups.”
All In, formerly Student Social Justice, is under the leadership of Hoover guidance counselor Mrs. Crystal Ake.
“I was asked to take the role [as advisor of All In] and I thought it sounded like a really positive thing to be a part of,” she said. “I couldn’t think of a greater group of students to work with and get to know.”
All In makes it their mission to encourage tolerance and acceptance among Hoover students. Ake believes this club will work to spur needed conversation and solidarity in the community.
“Our goal is to help students learn how to be an ally,” she said. “We can create a more positive environment in the school, and hopefully in the community by creating awareness of important issues in a positive way.”
Ake feels in having discussions about differences, people can become even more united.
“One way to promote diversity is by celebrating the little things that make us different,” Ake said. “Highlighting some awareness around different holidays instead of just the traditional ones is just one way this can be done.”
Draher agrees with Ake’s sentiment. Hoover represents many different cultures, and every new person one may meet can provide a different perspective.
“The best way to promote diversity is to be open to discussions and meet new people,” Draher said. “Start talking to someone in one of your classes that you have never talked to before. Learn about who they are and where they come from.”
Senior Isabella Andrews believes classes like Race and Diversity are so integral to the curriculum at Hoover because of the understanding of the world it can give to its students, and the view it gives students to different issues.
“I think it is an important class because it exposes students to a lot of history and current world news [and] issues they might not be aware of otherwise,” she said. “In the class, we’ve talked about issues I have never really talked about in any of my other classes.”
Race and Diversity and All In are both extremely important institutions at Hoover. These classes and clubs both effectively work to promote diversity, acceptance and openness at Hoover. The things learned in these groups go beyond school, providing lessons that can be applied to the world after high school.
“It is important to look at [marginalized groups],” Draher said. “My goal is to teach tolerance. Tolerance is important as it helps us work together and understand one another.”