A Journey Through a World of Colors: The Multicultural Fair

More stories from DIVYA KRISHNA ‘25

More stories from GAURI KSHETTRY ‘25

As high school is often a time to reflect and change as a person, our unique backgrounds remain through ideals and values. Edison High School brims with diversity and a variety of cultures. The multicultural fair featured this diversity, providing not just an experience of free food and leisure, but one of realization and appreciation. Coming at the end of the semester, the event was put together entirely by Ms. Karen Kirkpatrick’s Diversity and Multiculturalism in U.S. Society class, a half-year elective new this year to the history department. From Greek to immigration culture, visitors could explore a multitude of displays with activities, stories, and diverse perspectives.

The Caribbean exhibit was one of these displays.

“As a granddaughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Haiti, I have always found it fascinating to learn more about my heritage and culture,” said Kimberly Hernandez ‘22. “For me, my culture means more than just food and music; rather, it is about the stories of overcoming adversities. From a young age, my grandparents have shared their immigration stories and struggles with me, helping me understand the difficulties that they had to push through to come to the United States.” Hernandez highlighted the tenacious spirit of immigrants and the importance of sharing distinctive backgrounds.

This event was definitely a success, and it would be interesting to see something similar in our workplace, so we can share our stories and experiences with colleagues.”

— Shirley Dong ‘11

In addition, Superintendent Dr. Bernard Bragen ‘83 spoke about the drastic changes in the Edison community over the decades.

“In 1983, oftentimes diversity consisted of people with Anglo-Saxon backgrounds rather than the numerous cultures in our community. Events such as this help contribute to a global society and connectivity between people of different backgrounds,” said Bragen. He stated that inclusivity is a key part of Edison’s tight-knit community, which permits a sharing of ideas and values.

To celebrate diversity within the community, Kirkpatrick also invited a few police officers to witness the first multicultural fair in Edison Public Schools.

As a granddaughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Haiti, I have always found it fascinating to learn more about my heritage and culture.”

— Kimberly Hernandez ‘22

“I think that it is impressive to see an event like this, especially since we did not have an opportunity similar to this when I attended Edison High,” said Officer Shirley Dong ’11. “Growing up in a Chinese family, one of the main reasons that I became a police officer was due to the lack of Chinese-speaking police officers and numerous times of watching my family struggle to communicate through the language barrier.” Dong said she would love to see an event like this in her workplace as an opportunity to share stories and experiences with colleagues.

“I personally believe that language and heritage should not serve as an impediment to receiving help and providing justice,” Dong said.  

A previous edition of this article misspelled Officer Dong’s name, and it was corrected on February 15.