In hopes of creating a safer environment at the OHS, student leaders took the initiative to make a difference at the Owatonna High School by creating the Diversity Inclusion Group (DIG). Once it was created, word got out about the group and soon enough it expanded. DIG is the abbreviated version of Diversity Inclusion Group, and as a double meaning, it uses DIG as a metaphor for digging into controversial issues.
It’s become clear that there were students that were dealing with harassment on their own so that’s when DIG created the report form. From the many goals DIG has set on themselves, the main goal would be to bring the school together by making students sense inclusion and safety in classes, hallways and throughout the school. The members of DIG have been a big part of events that involve inclusion and speaking up such as the World Cafe, Green Card Voices and an Owatonna Public Schools talk called “This Is Not My Life Story.”
Last year, Mr. Fish was approached as an ally to the group and was asked to be the adviser. Mr. Fish said, “DIG was created to help all people feel more welcome at Owatonna High School.” DIG has taken a step in this direction by designing the report form mentioned before for students to use when they don’t have the time nor energy to go straight to the office and report any type of harassment.
The first few meetings of DIG consisted of members talking about their experience at the OHS. DIG member Sado Keyse said, “DIG has opened many people’s eyes. Everyone can see what perspectives others are coming from now.” Diversity Inclusion Group has now formed into a committee of 12 members. They plan on having walk-in meetings in the near future when important topics come up. The meetings usually take place in B-304 every other Thursday morning starting at 7:30 a.m., but they are planning on changing that into something more consistent.