Christ’s Hospital Culture Shock event promotes diversity

Pupils enjoyed a variety of performances at the event
Pupils enjoyed a variety of performances at the event

Christ’s Hospital’s African and Caribbean society recently organised Culture Shock to promote their society values and to embrace diversity.

The event staged performances from pupils from all over the world.

Dressed in their traditional attire and answering questions about their culture, along with poetry, singing by the gospel choir and dancing, the pupils raised over £100 for charity as well as promoting the purpose of their society.

Its aim is to make it accessible for everyone to discover different outlooks and perspectives and to fully embrace the diversity of the school population.

The society, with a membership of around 25 pupils, led by its president Nana Sarfo-Bonsu and two vice presidents Andrea Kimaro-Samms and Ebony Appiah-Fontoura, has weekly conversations concerning the issues of black people worldwide.

They cover subjects such as their identity, immigration issues and the plight of black people in society due to oppression.

Nana, who was accepted last autumn by Target Oxbridge - a programme that helps high-achieving black students gain places at the UK’s top universities, said: “When I was on the Baltimore exchange with Christ’s Hospital last year, I attended their fortnightly black student union where we discussed things like discrimination within the black community itself such as colourism and the difficulties that black women face on the basis of the texture of their hair - the more straight being closer to ‘white hair’ which is supposedly more desirable in contrast to thick curly afros.

“I thought this open dialogue amongst peer groups an interesting concept and sought to emulate it here at Christ’s Hospital and got in contact with a teacher (Dr Wines), and we set up the group from there.

“We decided not to call it [the] black student union because we felt that this may seem exclusive and we wanted it to be an inclusive group that focused on increasing awareness of the diversity in our school.

“When we filmed part of the Culture Shock event - we featured 14 different ethnicities.”

To ensure appreciation of diversity continues to flourish at Christ’s Hospital when Nana and her team leave this summer, next academic year the society have Serenity Thornton as president and Rachael Bondzie and Jade Odunjo as vice presidents.