O’Hara students participate in diversity & inclusion summit
TONAWANDA — Eight Cardinal O’Hara High School students took part in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit at the University at Buffalo on March 29.
The students – Sandra Bradberry, Hailey Crawford, Dylan Flynt, Josh Ogiba, Dejhana Ridgeway, Jade Rutledge, Nico Scirri, Simmarion Threet and Chris Wright – spent the daylong event at various workshops.
The day, hosted by members of the community, concluded with a keynote address by Jillian Hanesworth whose poem, “The Hill We Climb,” was read at President Biden’s inauguration. The poem is a moving call to America to be a more perfect nation during a time of turmoil.
In addition, Hanesworth is the first-ever poet laureate of Buffalo where she has been asked to “inspire Buffalo in verse.”
Hailey Crawford, a sophomore at Cardinal O’Hara, read one of her poems in front of her workshop class led by Hanesworth.
“It was a wonderful experience reading one of my poems,” Hailey said. “The purpose of the summit and of our DEI Club at O’Hara is to have a voice in the discussion of diversity. We learned a lot from the day.”
Workshops ranged from “Yoga – Mind, Body and Breath” to “Fake It Til You Make It,” a painting workshop, to “Student Leadership in DEI.”
Seven workshops, each presented in two rounds, gave all the students an opportunity to choose their interests.
“It was a good day,” Hailey smiled.
The DEI Club at Cardinal O’Hara is co-moderated by Maria McGrath, mathematics teacher, and Karen Torrie, administrative assistant.