At lunch on Friday 13 December, Marc Garneau students participated in the Diverse City display run by Ms. Munro’s grade 11 leadership class. The event was a class project, and its goal was to promote diversity and equality in the school.

As part of the display, there were ‘prayer flags’ up on the wall, all drawn by the leadership class. These flags were to represent the 5 pillars of equity, namely: racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and ableism. Ms. Munro stated that the flags were called prayer flags because they are targeting the issues, and that they symbolize “prayers for a better world”.


Students in the leadership class that organized the event.
Photo: Christina Chen

Students were also able to participate in the interactive display by writing something about themselves on a footprint. All the footprints were gathered and put up on the wall together, symbolizing the diversity within the school walls alone.

MGCI’s art therapist also assisted with the booth by providing the idea for the tealight jars at the display. Candles shone inside decorated jars, emphasizing the importance for Garneau to be able to “shed light on the issues” and focus on finding a solution.

Maria Kashif, a grade 11 student who helped run the event, commented that Diverse City was a successful event. “Our goal was to bring the school together and learn to embrace the diversity of the community. It went rather well; people came, wrote on the footprints and participated.”

Aside from the colourful display set up in the entrance to the cafeteria, former MGCI student and current recording artist Junior Lavagesse performed a lively rap for the students. The rap focused on the importance of leadership, and the significance of being a part of the change. Lavagesse ended off his performance by saying, “I used to be a student here as well, so I know what you feel like. Be a leader for yourself. I’m living my dreams, and it feels bigger than life.”

Aside from running this event, the grade 11 leadership class have been leading workshops that focus on the five pillars of equity for students at Valley Park, and for the grade nines at MGCI.