2009 Bezos Scholar Lanna Giauque and educator Edie Reynolds worked to educate their community about the need for tolerance through their Local Ideas Festival, EthnicFest Diversity: the Equation for Success.
After observing the Greenly West High School community was comprised of a variety of social groups, including many recent immigrants to the country. Lanna sought to unite their diverse community. The multi-day Festival featured local speakers addressing slavery, comments on Latinx heritage, Hula and Hawaiian culture, the Japanese American internment during WWII, prejudice and stereotypes, and a performance by Flyod Sneed- the only African American member of the 70’s rock band, Three Dog Night. EthnicFest Diversity: the Equation for Success culminated with hands-on activities such as Chinese character drawing, and ethnic cooking classes.
“We were overwhelmed with the reception we received concerning Ethnicfest, and the way in which the students and the community embraced the Festival,” shares Lanna. “Everyone learned a little bit about people who are different from them and had lots of fun in the process! The way this event was received by the community emphasized the need.”