Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: GVHS’ Three Pillars

DEIs pinned post on their Instagram. The posts description highlights one of their main goals: to provide a safe and supportive learning environment through enlightening the schools social diversity. - Posted on February 7th, 2023 on DEIs Instagram, @GVHS.DEI
DEI’s pinned post on their Instagram. The post’s description highlights one of their main goals: to provide a safe and supportive learning environment through enlightening the school’s social diversity. – Posted on February 7th, 2023 on DEI’s Instagram, @GVHS.DEI

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, or DEI for short, is a committee spearheaded by Golden Valley’s Principal Mr. Sal Frias. Seeking to grant every person on campus a voice, its primary goals are to ensure a safe and supportive space for students and staff regardless of race and gender, to promote compassion towards others, and to minimize hate speech like racism and sexism. It achieves these through creating PSAs to highlight ethnic groups and an upcoming cookbook with recipes from different cultures.

DEI’s origins were traced back to William S. Hart Union High School District, which requested their schools’ administrations to start committees promoting diversity at their respective campuses. 

In the 2020-2021 school year Mr. Frias and GV’s Assistant Principal, Mr. Brian Necessary, and many other students and administrators founded DEI and had their first meeting in February 2021 to discuss the purposes and goals of the organization.

DEI’s Instagram Profile Picture. The picture contains the title of the committee as well as GVHS’ mascot, Graham the Grizzly Bear. – Posted on DEI’s Instagram, @GVHS.DEI

Their primary purpose is to spotlight the vast diversity on campus. Not only do they want to highlight the variety of ethnicities within its community, but also other non-racial groups like those who possess disabilities, the LGBTQ community, and many more.

To accomplish these goals, DEI participates in many activities to raise awareness. Several of these methods include creating Public Service Announcements, club spotlights, and lunch events where they partner with ASB. 

These activities highlight information, conflict, and solutions to conflicts that cultures and groups face. One of their PSAs that promotes Developmental Disabilities Month, which spotlights people with disabilities, can be watched through GVTV, Golden Valley’s daily broadcasting service, at the timestamp 7:58. Another significant method to promote diverse cultural backgrounds is their upcoming cookbook.

Inspired by a school potluck event, DEI created a cookbook with recipes from different heritages. Submitted by students and their families, each recipe contains a brief description of what the food is and how it was significant to the country of origin. 

Dr. Kathleen Rowley, one of the teachers who is part of DEI and running the project, mentions that she wanted to distribute the book by “putting it in the local bookstore (Open Book), put it in our school library, and make it available to families on campus.” As of now, they have successfully reached their goal of raising enough funds for the book.

While DEI succeeded in its primary goal through its plethora of techniques, there’s still a secondary goal they hope to achieve. While Frias still wants to assist in running DEI, he, along with many of the other adults who are members of DEI, emphasized how they wanted “students to lead.” 

He also explained how “I (Mr. Frias) would still attend every meeting, but this is their school.” Having students lead and bring their insight on conflicts on campus is important because things can occur on campus that only students know about. Letting students express their perspective of a situation allows for greater improvements to the school. 

Gracia Flores, a GV sophomore and member of DEI, shares her perspective on DEI being student-led: “I’ve seen students really take lead, create these videos on their own, and come up with ideas like the PSAs. I think that it’s a great representation of how much students care about the culture of our school and how much they’re willing to commit to it.”

Even though DEI already has many fantastic student members, there isn’t any harm in welcoming more. If you’re a GV student or even a staff member who is interested in joining DEI, Mr. Frias releases a survey at the beginning of the year for potential members to fill out. 

As long as you have the correct attitude, it isn’t difficult to join the committee. Be sure to visit their page on the GV website here and their Instagram page, @gvhs.dei. As a final word from DEI’s mission statement, “We work to develop an environment in which students and faculty have the resources and voice to speak up about any social injustice on and off campus. Golden Valley believes that by educating our school community we can bring ourselves closer to achieving unity.”

About the Contributor
Dylan Vo
Dylan Vo, Photographer
Dylan Vo is the photographer for the Campus News Team of the Grizzly Gazette. He is currently a senior at Golden Valley High School and has been attending it since his freshman year. On top of his position in the Grizzly Gazette, he is also the Treasurer of both SkillsUSA and DFY in SCV, participates in clubs like Asian Student Union, CSF, and DEI, is a CTE Pathway Completer, and has plenty of hours and experience in community service. He also possesses a Youtube channel with over 1,000 subscribers that documents various topics within video game communities. Some of his interests include editing and posting videos, using Photoshop to create new images and designs, and watching TV shows on platforms like Disney Plus and Netflix. The main reason he joined the Grizzly Gazette was to enhance his journalism skills not only for his channel, but also for the greater good of the school through its newspaper. A couple of topics he covers here at the Grizzly Gazette are campus and online news since he believes students and staff should learn more about the activity occurring on both school grounds and the internet. To him, being a student journalist means not only being a part of something that can make a positive impact on the school, but also exposing writers to both new and old skills that can assist them throughout their lives.