World Heritage Day at Durham College celebrates diversity for all age groups
World Heritage Day is an annual event meant to celebrate cultural background and individuality. Durham College’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions welcomed high school students on campus to celebrate diversity.
Countries around the world celebrate their culture and backgrounds on World Heritage Day every year on April 18. Many historical institutions and monuments offer free admission across the country as a way to celebrate history.
Shauna Moore is a first-generation student coordinator at Durham College with the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions. Moore helped organize the event on campus to celebrate World Heritage Day. She says celebrating diversity on campus is the key to creating an inclusive learning environment for students.
“We are a part of a bigger picture. We’re all different and that’s what makes the world a great place,” she says. “I think World Heritage Day is about celebrating what makes us unique. Both in the way we look, and the values we bring, the cultural practices, the celebrations, and recognizing that we all have a lot in common.”
Students and faculty gathered in the Student Services Building for presentations on diversity, self-awareness, and positivity. Nathaniel Nurse is a Grade 11 student who attended the event. He says learning about heritage is a great way to learn about others.
“I’m still learning. I’m learning a lot about myself, and my heritage, including where I come from,” he says. “I’ve learned to love myself and other people, and I think that’s what heritage is all about to me - loving others and who they are. It can be hard to do that sometimes, but it’s important to have a personality where you can accept others for who they are and surround yourself with people who accept you.”
The event focused on highlighting the diversity at Durham College in the hopes that secondary students will choose DC as a future institution.
Allison Hector-Alexander is the Director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions. Her goal was to make students feel welcome, celebrated and accepted on campus regardless of their background or culture.
Hector-Alexander says diversity and spreading heritage in educational environments has driven her career for many years. She says Heritage Day is a special day to connect with peers.
“It’s a great day to raise awareness and educate others who might not necessarily be familiar with other cultures around the world,” Hector-Alexander says. “If you walk around on campus, you can visibly see all of the diversity on campus it’s just a matter of encouraging people to be themselves and celebrate heritage.”
Both students and staff at Durham College celebrated World Heritage Day, celebrating DC’s vast amount of diversity an inclusion on campus.