Hannah Rosenthal

2010 - St. Louis

Hannah re‐established a Diversity Club at her school and significantly enhanced the role the club played in the school community. She gave each Diversity Club meeting a specific theme or activity. Students were involved in group discussions about common stereotypes, why stereotyping occurs and how to discourage such behavior, racism in children's movies and negatively portrayed minorities. They also shared their opinions about religion and sexual orientation with local religious leaders who spoke about their views on same sex relationships and marriage. The Diversity Club held a session called "Culture through Musical Expression," where students performed and discussed the origins of each type of music and how music serves as a medium through which different cultural groups express their beliefs and feelings. In one of her most rewarding sessions, Hannah challenged her peers to look at the "eleven assumptions that people make in the first seven seconds that you meet someone" based on a concept she learned while visiting the Simon Wiesenthal Tolerance Center in New York City, where students were introduced to the idea of what it means to have power based on race. Her Diversity Club communication and outreach to the wider school community has made a major impact on her school and the ability of students from different backgrounds to share open dialogue.