Our Commitment to Diversity
Our school values human diversity and is committed to promoting and celebrating a diverse community of students, families, faculty, and staff. We nurture respect of diverse worldviews and experiences. We encourage leadership that promotes equity and justice, and affirm and protect the dignity and worth of each member of our community.
Human diversity refers to the marvelous range of human variation, including but not limited to: culture, religion, worldview, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity and expression, physical ability, socioeconomic status, and learning styles.
Words From a Spring Hill Alumni: Nishan’s Speech “Cinnamon”
As we work to become an inclusive and equitable school community, we feel it is important to learn from our students, families, and educators about their life experiences. We had the privilege of learning the perspective of one of our students in his 8th-grade graduation speech in June of 2021. Nishan shared impactful and moving words as he spoke to his experience growing up as a person of Indian descent in a community that was culturally different from his own. We chose to share his speech in this discussion of our global curriculum as an example of how our teaching philosophy gives our students the space, tools, and time to connect with who they are and what this means for their lives.
Nishan’s speech is hard-hitting and thought-provoking, challenging us to reflect on our own experiences and the lives of people from different backgrounds in our community. We are grateful for his honesty and ability to share his inner thoughts in such a powerful way.
“Cinnamon” A Graduation Speech by Nishan Permalla.
“My cinnamon skin signifies plenty more than the additional melanin in me. It's a representation of my family and culture. My skin is not an invitation to say “I wish I could tan like you.” It is, however, the tinder to a complex dissonance I’ve experienced as I’ve grown up.
I used to be of the mindset that I needed to brush my entire culture and heritage beneath me, forget that I was ever even different, and I tried so hard to blend in. My physical appearance created an inner psychological boundary. However, I am now realizing that my culture is not a hindrance, not something to be ashamed of. The only thing I’m ashamed of now, is ever disliking myself for being Indian. Loathing myself and my culture would frankly be like sabotaging my parents and their hard work.
The work my parents put in to immigrate is plenty, and then on top of this, they put in the work and time to send me to a private school. My parents left their lives in India behind to come here, with the motive to give their children the best possible lives. From vows of forever love, to cutting the crust off of sandwiches, they do everything for me, and I am eternally grateful.
My skin, and culture, may be a drawback at some point in my life, because of our society. A society in which I’m surrounded by a sea of people unlike me. But I have discovered that I can accomplish an equal amount, and even more, than others around me, no matter my psychological boundaries, because the words that power me more than any others, are my own.”