On April 12 2010, Indian Mountain School celebrated its 5th Annual Diversity Day.  As in past years, this day consisted of a keynote speaker, a special musical guest, over 20 different workshop options, a featured movie, and an amazing lunch.

This year’s keynote speaker was Ameen-Storm Abo-Hamzy, an award-winning poet who recited his poetry, talked about diversity, his work and personal experiences living in Beirut, serving in the army, and promoting peace through his organization, Evolution Ink. Students came away from his talk and poetry-writing workshops with a new understanding of diversity and the sameness of all individuals—that our physical makeup is 99.9% identical and that our differences represent a scant .1% variation.

IMS was lucky to have two Hotchkiss groups perform for us: the Drill team and Calliope, an a capella group.

After the above performances, the entire school went out to the front circle for the installation of the IMS Peace Pole. This pole is inscribed with the phrase, “May Peace Prevail On Earth,” in eight different languages: English, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Latin, and will stand as a constant reminder for our community to strive toward peace on an individual, community, and global level.

Another aspect of Diversity Day was the many different workshop options offered to the students. Each student had the opportunity to take three different workshops throughout the day. Some workshop options were: Geography Jeopardy, Chinese Art, Around the World Scavenger Hunt, Rugby, Special Olympics, Origami, Chinese Dumplings, Japanese Culture, Brain Teasers, the Music of Greece, and Tibetan Rites.

The final aspect of the day was the featured movie, The Day After Peace, a story about award-winning filmmaker Jeremy Gilley’s ten-year peace mission to establish an annual Peace Day on September 21. The camera follows Jeremy as he galvanizes the countries of the world to recognize an official day of ceasefire and non-violence. As a result of watching this movie, IMS will be recognizing World Peace Day on September 21, 2010.

Once again, Diversity Day was a rousing success. Thanks to the speakers, the performers, the faculty and parents who ran workshops, the kitchen staff, and to all the students who helped make this a wonderful and meaningful day. It is our hope that each person who participated in Diversity Day has taken something special away from the day, especially the notion of peace.