Diversity Group Aims to Make a Difference


Graphic by Onnika Moore

We are constantly growing as a community and as a school. Every year a new batch of students replaces another. Each with different beliefs, experiences and cultures to share.
“D.O.T.S. means Diverse Outreach Through Students,” sponsor Mrs. Melissa Ryan said. “D.O.T.S. is a place where students of color can join together for support, and it is also a place to help develop leaders who can help educate others about issues surrounding race and ethnicity.”
The club has about 65 members who meet every other Wednesday. There are two major groups within the club: D.O.T.S. upperclassmen and D.O.T.S. underclassmen. The leadership team helps teach the underclassmen until they eventually graduate.
“I’m honored to be considered one of the leaders of D.O.T.S.,” senior Nathaniel Bullard said. “I hope that I and my fellow leaders can make a difference before we leave.”
Usually, the meeting starts with icebreakers to introduce new members and bond with others. Then there might be discussions about issues within the community or the broader world. All of these activities help the group bond and grow together as a strong-knit community.
“Honestly, every member is important,” senior member Clara Endicott said. “Although that sounds vague, I have my reason. Each person is a part of our D.O.T.S. community and each person brings their own culture, ideas and stories to our group. Without one person, it would not feel the same.”
Some disagree with what D.O.T.S. stands for and instead of fighting those people, members try to educate peacefully. While learning to protest nonviolently, they also learn how to be proud of their culture while celebrating others.
“Gretna is becoming more diverse than ever. What used to be an all-white school is now mixed with Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Indigenous and more,” Bullard said. “It is important because it has those kids (and they need to) be seen and heard, not discriminated against and hated on. I hope that this school does grow. It just needs to be nudged.”