Letter to the Editor

A response to “Diversity Day not Diverse Enough?”


Maya Dawson

Sophomore Caidan White leads an effort to include a conservative speaker on next year’s Diversity Day panel.

Dear Editor,


With respect to your article, “Diversity Day not Diverse Enough”, I’d love to respond on behalf of the Peer Counseling team.


First of all, we are always welcome to feedback and we love to hear about how the student body felt about Diversity Day. That is, after all, the only way that we can make it better in the future! It’s great to see students voicing their opinions about how we can improve this event for next year. However, I think that this article makes a couple of unfair assumptions.


First of all, I whole-heartedly disagree with the politicization of the issues described in your article. Topics addressed in workshops, such as Islamophobia and LGBTQ+ don’t need to be made political. From our point of view, we can look at these issues as clashes of kindness or hate, not left or right. One of our goals is to disconnect the issues from the partisanship that we sometimes fall victim to. As the next generation of Americans, we want to demonstrate that these should be human issues, not political ones. I think that the fact that the article views these positions as left-leaning doesn’t do justice to the vast majority of conservatives who believe in the power of kindness too. Our mission is, and always has been, to promote compassion and understanding, and we feel that our speaker choice reflects these ideals.


Additionally, the idea of Diversity Day in general isn’t to provide a platform for political debate. In fact, only one of our workshops is related to the political discussion at all, that being the Left vs. Right workshop. Even for that one, the purpose is to learn to discuss politics calmly and productively, and approach them with a more nuanced perspective, not to provide a forum for political debate. By introducing heavily partisan speakers, we would cause our unique platform for universal discourse to become yet another political battleground. Now more than ever, I don’t believe that that is what our school or our country needs. While I agree with Mr. White that there needs to be more discussion of politics to prevent our generation from being as embattled as our predecessors, Diversity Day isn’t the place for that.


Finally, the goal of Diversity Day isn’t, and never has been, to tell students what they want to hear. Instead, we are trying to challenge beliefs and introduce new perspectives. That means communicating points of view that most Conifer students are unfamiliar with, not simply reinforcing the already widespread beliefs of the school.


In terms of the future, I will graduate in the spring, so I don’t have any say of how the event will be run next year. However, I will continue to implore the next generation of Peer Counselors to use the Diversity Day platform to discuss human issues, not promote political fighting. Thank you again for sharing your perspective and thank you to all who care enough about the event to petition.




Charlie Toppin

Conifer Peer Counselor