Diversify Our Narrative: Diversifying Classrooms One Step At a Time


Diversify Our Narrative – https://www.diversifyournarrative.com/

Katie Wilson

The FCPS Chapter of a nonprofit organization, Diversify Our Narrative (DON), focuses on giving student bodies a voice on the English curriculum and finding resources for teachers to encourage cultural diversity in the classroom.

Started in June of 2020, Diversify Our Narrative was founded by two Stanford University students to diversify English texts in public education. DON has now developed into a nationwide organization that strives for diversity in middle school texts, STEM, art, and educational policies. Diversify Our Narrative is designed to encourage a beneficial dialogue on race and identity among student bodies and the inclusion of racially diverse, anti-racist texts.

FCPS’s Chapter of Diversify Our Narrative is working closely with Language Arts and English departments to uncover what impacts the student body in each school. Diversify Our Narrative is beginning to address complications in the history curriculum. One problem that a sophomore has recognized is explained by their statement: “A lot of issues with the history department is that a lot of the text is done by white men. For example, we’ve never looked at any Native American text when we learn about Christopher Columbus.” This is one of many concerns that come to mind when thinking about the texts students read in history classes.

Diversify Our Narrative is divided into eight regions; Fairfax County falls into the seventh region, along with Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Diversify Our Narrative – https://www.diversifyournarrative.com/

These regions separate the United States in hopes of students’ abilities to contact DON about their school districts with ease. Although DON is mainly in the United States, region one includes international students as well.

Diversify Our Narrative’s co-district leads of the FCPS Chapter, Vera Nguyen and Michael Park, gave multiple statements on why DON is such a great organization and what DON means to them personally. Together they said, “To me, DON is a community. Students, teachers, and school staff across the US have contributed to where DON is now. Whether small or big, each person has contributed their part under the common goal to advocate for the presentation of all student voices and representation of diverse experiences.” Their beautiful response shows how passionate they are about DON. In response to the question ‘Why is Diversify Our Narrative a great organization?’, they replied, “The FCPS chapter provides a safe space for our members to talk about race-related issues that aren’t covered enough in the classroom. Students are given the chance to come together and discuss issues that have impacted them and how we can prevent this from occurring again.”

Additionally, DON is an extraordinary organization, seeing as the leaders prioritize your mental health. If you choose to become a member, DON will acknowledge the stress that students carry during exam periods or even during regular school weeks. DON encourages all members to contribute what they can, whenever possible.

In conclusion, Diversify Our Narrative as a whole focuses on many important topics surrounding the public school system, and the FCPS Chapter plays an important role in curriculum changes. Giving students a voice includes all students; regardless of ethnicity, sexuality, or background, all students deserve a voice towards change that can affect them. Diversify Our Narrative will help provide that voice.