Sacramento schools reflect the region’s global diversity



Kylie Huang, Mira Loma High School

Schools around the country include a wide range of students from all types of backgrounds and cultures, representing many of the 195 nations around the world. Sacramento is no exception.  

According to Ed Data, in the 2021-2022 school year Sacramento County had almost 33% Hispanic or Latinx students, 26% white students, 17% Asian students, 11% black or African American students, and 8% students from two or more races. In other words, Sacramento County schools are incredibly diverse with students from all types of backgrounds. 

Celebrating diversity is incredibly important, especially in a school setting.

An article titled Celebrating Diversity: Multicultural Education in Middle Schools reveals that, by addressing the diversity that exists in schools and having an enriching curriculum showcasing diversity, schools are able to promote respect for other cultures and discourage discrimination. 

One way to honor diversity is through student-led events. 

Mira Loma High School in Sacramento is one school that does this. With students from 43 different countries, each with their own cultures and traditions, Mira Loma has created a few unique ways to celebrate this aspect of its student body. In fact, it is because of the diverse backgrounds of its students that the Mira Loma community has created several ongoing traditions. These events have been successful in encouraging student engagement. Other schools should follow suit, and here’s why. 

The most popular event on campus is International Night, which was initiated to run alongside Open House as a way of allowing students to share their cultures with other students, families and faculty. Many students proudly wear their traditional outfits and construct posters detailing interesting facts about their cultures. Cultural food is also made and sold as part of the event. 

There are also several performances, mainly dances, during International Night. These range from Chinese traditional dragon and fan dances to Filipino tinikling (dancing between two bamboo poles) and Desi dances. There is also a Japanese drum performance by the school’s Taiko Club. 

Dances and food are effective ways to share and communicate unique aspects of each culture. 

A 2013 study titled “A Cross-Cultural Perspective on the Significance of Music and Dance to Culture and Society” found that dance and music were especially effective at revealing how culture impacts the daily lives of individuals, including their behaviors and decisions. 

Many of the International Night performances, as well as some of the posters constructed for the event, are put together by cultural clubs across campus. 

By having cultural clubs, students are able to connect with others who share the same backgrounds, as well as become involved in learning about other cultures. The clubs also encourage students to hold leadership positions and help them learn about the importance of collaboration. 

There are also other events held by Mira Loma to celebrate diversity. These include more culture-specific events, which are typically organized by the foreign language teachers and are specific to the countries where their languages are spoken. By doing so, students are also able to learn more about the cultures and traditions associated with the foreign language. The art teachers at Mira Loma are also involved in these activities, and help their students create art to showcase various cultures. 

These events include the Asian Art Fair, which celebrates the Lunar New Year, Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and Black Renaissance Day. 

Other schools should follow Mira Loma’s example when it comes to celebrating diversity. Even having just one day where students are able to share their cultures with others, such as International Night, can make a positive difference.