The Pace Academy Board of Diversity (PABD) wants students to know that diversity is more than race. PABD, which was officially formed second semester last year by current senior Nathan Sokolic, has redefined the vision of diversity at Pace. “This plan got students, faculty and administrators involved to work together to help make Pace a more accepting place. But most importantly, we wanted to make sure whoever was the next Director of Diversity had a solid foundation and a productive start to connecting with students, parents, leaders of the school and leaders of other schools,” said Nathan.
“PABD’s main purpose is to promote all aspects of diversity,” Nathan said. “When people think of diversity, many people think of race… but it is so much more than that. Our goal is to create a better, safer and more welcoming environment for all people in the community. Also, to make sure that everyone can be themselves completely and not have any worries about not being accepted by others. We are all different and everyone around us has something to offer, and until you give a person a chance, you may never know who they really are.”
PABD meets every Tuesday morning at 7:15 in the cafeteria and generates crowds of over 25 students. The students who attend are diverse in many ways. “PABD is where people from all walks of life can share their ideas and make the community more aware,” said junior Carolina Abdullah. Even students like senior Mackenzie Attridge, who considers herself “pretty generic,” attend meetings because they are interested in finding out what it means to be diverse. “In these meetings you get a lot out of them because we get in groups and plan out different activities that spread awareness of diversity,” said sophomore Malik Staples. Whether students feel that diversity is not a big issue at Pace because everyone is accepting of each other, or Pace is not diverse enough, students come together in a fun and engaging way to help expand their understanding of what it means to be diverse.
Within PABD, there are seven sub-committees, which include communication, technology/art, food/drink, fundraising, service, presentation and activities. Each committee is aimed at spreading diversity awareness throughout the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools. PABD is holding a multi-cultural holiday assembly for the Middle School on Nov. 8, as well as talks with lower school students about diversity, so that the concept of diversity is not new when they enter high school. Nathan thinks that service is “one of the most important ways to understand diversity, whether it be picking up a book that a student dropped or building a house with Habitat For Humanity.”
“People should join PABD because it is a chance for you individually to be heard and allow others around you to understand you. All of our meetings are confidential, and it’s a safe zone for everyone around us. We encourage our members to speak up and out, challenging that status quo,” said Nathan.