The covered pavilion behind the Petrik Family Commons was filled with laughing, smiling students and faculty during the annual SPECTRUM Heritage Festival last week. Participants set up their tables with regional treats and delicacies, sweet and savory, from Israel, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, and more, prepared to share not only their foods, but information about their background with the festival’s attendees.
Sofia Delgado ‘19, president of the SPECTRUM club says that the intent of the festival is for students to be able to share a piece of themselves that others might not know about. “Sharing your family’s favorite dishes is a great way to start a conversation and share information about a culture someone may not know a lot about,” says Sofia. “Food is something that everyone has in common—it is an easy and fun way for people to learn about the diversity of someone else’s heritage.”
Sofia and Sabiné Timol ‘21, the club’s vice president, explain that the goal of SPECTRUM is to educate students on what it means to be a diverse school. The club was formed several years ago after students attended a Student Diversity Leadership Conference. The theme of the conference was that people didn’t fall into black or white categories, and that most people resided in more “gray” areas - that people were more of a spectrum instead of absolutes. “In SPECTRUM, we talk about diversity and inclusion, and what that should look like at ODA,” says Sabiné. “We think that this is an important part of of what makes our school an interesting place to learn. We want to ensure that ODA is always a welcoming and accepting school for all students.”