In the halls of DMAE, respect is something everyone cares about. Respect, however, does not have one definition. It involves knowing yourself and understanding cultural diversity. To call attention to the importance of respect, the ZONE, DMAE’s youth services program operated by the Bergen Family Center, created a week during the fall dedicated to defining, understanding and spreading respect: respect to self as well as to the DMAE community.
“Respect around campus to me is really just accepting the people around you even if you are totally different. I think if the whole campus uses this as the definition of respect, everyone would be a lot happier,” junior Saba Hassan explained.
The week was introduced by Monday’s “Believe In Your Selfies.” Throughout the day, student spread their inner positivity by posting a selfie of themselves feeling comfortable and happy in their own skin.
“Being secure with yourself may be the best thing you can ever do for yourself. To be able to be in the mindset that you accept yourself, is such an incredible thing,” freshman Francine Francis remarked.
Inner positivity continued with Tuesday’s Planned Parenthood presentation “Reducing the Risk” in the ZONE. On Wednesday the ZONE present “This is Me” with activities were centered around finding out who you are socially and culturally. The ZONE hosted “Talk it Up” and “How Can We Help” discussions and activities to start conversations about how much race and culture means to a person’s individuality completed the week.
“I’m female, and I’m Black, but a person is so much more than just the physical identities that define who they are in that race,” Shanita Fludd, Youth Development Specialist at the Zone stated.
People are defined by what they believe, not what other people think of them, and the acceptance of diversity is a giant step in learning the importance of respect.