Packed into the school’s gymnasium Friday morning, students at Mountain Pointe High School celebrated diversity, culture, and Black History Month awareness with a series of assemblies for upper and lower classmen.

Organized by the Black Student Union (BSU), the first hour-long assembly for freshmen and sophomore students focused on diversity, featuring the reading of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in nearly 20 different languages ranging from Russian to Tagalog, and even Hebrew.

Poems, songs, routines by BSU’s step team, Mountain Pointe’s Urban Dance team, a native Navajo dance, and a musical skit from the “Bring It On” movie series by the theater department were also performed among others.

A second assembly followed for juniors and seniors that focused on the theme of every student having common ground among their uniqueness.

“There’s so much diversity at Mountain Pointe,” said teacher and BSU student advisor, Natasha Alston. “Students don’t realize how awesome it is to go to a school that is so diverse.”

The idea behind separating the upper and lower grades, according to Alston, is so that the newer students have an awareness of the different interests, backgrounds and cultures their fellow classmates represent, while the juniors and seniors can unite in their commonalities.

In its fourth year, the assembly has grown larger every time, said Alston, with the addition of more speakers and performers.

This year, students heard an encouraging reminder from Arizona State University’s Associate Dean of Students, Alonzo Jones.

By celebrating differences, Alonzo rallied student applause with the idea that they can “transcend their unique identities and become one,” joining together for common causes.

BSU student president Tia Pantin said that no matter race or ethnicity, students should know that they have more in common with the rest of the school body than they think.

“Diversity is a big part of our school,” Pantin said. “I feel like we’re the most diverse school in the area.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or Follow on Twitter: @_dianamartinez.

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