In a predominantly white town like Harvard, it can be easy for students in the minority to feel a sense of estrangement in the school community. To help combat this, students Sahara Suliman, Siena Stanten, and Nasha Khurana of Students for Justice have teamed up with the district coordinator for diversity and inclusion, Marisa Khurana, in an attempt to represent and include the diverse populations at Bromfield. “We really want every student to feel like they belong in our school,” said Khurana.
Students for Justice is an extracurricular club at the Bromfield School that began in the fall of 2020. The club was inspired by the murder of George Floyd and other tragedies that were occurring around that time, and it began to gather students who were interested in talking about equity issues and how to effect change within the school.
“[The Bromfield flag project] is essentially a project to display the flags of the nationalities and ethnicities of every student in Bromfield and to help with that representation in our school, because it kind of seems like a bubble,” said Sahara Suliman, speaking to the Press. “[Bromfield] actually has a lot of diversity, and we wanted to really exemplify that and make everybody feel accepted.”
Sahara Suliman, Asha Khurana, and Siena Stanten, officers of Bromfield’s Students for Justice club, pose in front of the Bromfield flag project. (Courtesy photo)
Suliman emphasized the importance that lies in the representation of minority groups at Bromfield. The bubble created by the largely white student population isolates minority students. “When you walk around Bromfield, you definitely feel like a minority. So when you’re walking through the hallways and you get to see your flag up there on the wall, it really fills you with the feeling that you’re accepted here,” said Suliman.
The goal of the project is to put up as many as 95 flags, and there are already more than 30. Club members began by sending out a survey to the students to answer questions about their countries of origin or ethnicity. The flags will be hung up on one of the most visible walls of the school. “The wall is massive and it’s visible from a lot of points in the school, like from different hallways and staircases. It’s really a focal point in the school, which I thought is really cool,” said Suliman.
Siena Stanten, another member of Students for Justice, notes that Indigenous, tribal flags, as well as LGBTQ+ flags, will also be included, and that student representation doesn’t end at countries of origin. However, Khurana noted the importance of representing the three flags of the countries that would resonate with a large population of the student English-learning community. “It’s been really important to us that we made sure that the flag of China, the flag of Afghanistan, and the flag of Brazil were up on the wall, because those are the three primary groups where we have a lot of English-learning students,” said Khurana.
Khurana believes the flag project is merely the start of showing students, concretely, a sense of belonging.