Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

[OPINION] My experience moving to Mounds View as a person of color

Isabel Li
Zariyah Howell

As a Black student at Mounds View, I have come to terms with the reality of attending a predominantly white school. While Mounds View promotes diversity and inclusion, I feel there is a need for more empathy for those who feel excluded from this narrative.

Prior to May of 2021, I attended Achieve Language Academy in St. Paul, which is a relatively diverse school. Moving to the Mounds View district was a big culture shock for me. Mounds View’s community, being predominantly white, inadvertently ignores outside perspectives, and underhanded comments towards me made me feel as though black students are isolated from the rest of their peers. As this is not anyone’s fault, I feel that the lack of diversity has enabled normalizing these acts.

For example, as one of the Majorettes’ captains, which is one of the dance teams that perform at pep fest, I often hear side comments after our performance sexualizing our dance and culture. When I hear the comments, I feel disappointed and hurt because I am passionate about what I contribute to the performances, and certain comments make me wonder if working towards our goal of representing our cultural identity is really making a difference. These comments demonstrate how our community suppresses cultural expression at Mounds View.

Mounds View’s initiative of inclusion is shown through the inclusivity surveys they send to students; however, in my experience, they haven’t prevented such disrespect. I think administrators realize the importance of inclusion, but not enough action is being taken to ensure these experiences are limited, and it doesn’t seem like students are followed up with after the surveys as they certainly should be.

Through conversations with other students of color through my involvement with the Black Student Union and Soror, I know I’m not the only minority who feels this way. As diversity increases in the district, Mounds View has the potential to embrace various cultures. While my transition here did not demonstrate their goal of inclusivity, I hope other new students feel more accepted than I did. 

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About the Contributors
Zariyah Howell, Staff Reporter
Isabel Li, Spread Editor and Online Editor
Hi, my name is Isabel, and I am super excited to be an editor this year. Outside of the Viewer, I am a member of the girls' cross country and track team at Mounds View. I also enjoy playing violin and piano, listening to music, and taking photos. Don't forget to pick up a copy of the Viewer! Awards:  Best of SNO - Our community's car dependency
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