Westlake High School senior Jack Hudak was recognized as a “Diversity Champion” by the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio on Jan. 23 for exemplifying leadership in the field of diversity.
The award was presented at the center’s Annual Youth Leadership Luncheon at John Carroll University. Members of the WHS Leadership Challenge Diversity Group attended the event. This year’s theme was “Where Our Worlds Cross – Life at the Intersections.”
The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio is a human relations organization dedicated to eliminating bias, bigotry and racism. The annual luncheon honors students who have a passion for creating diverse and inclusive environments in their schools and communities, and honors Dr. Martin Luther King’s continued legacy. Educators nominate students that exemplify leadership in the area of diversity. The Diversity Center covers nine counties and had 25 schools send nominees. One middle school student and one high school student are chosen by The Diversity Center Selection Committee and are honored annually with an award at the luncheon.
Hudak was instrumental in starting a Gay-Straight Alliance at WHS last year and was a major planner of the WHS Diversity Week, held Feb. 23-27. Diversity Week is an annual event at WHS. This year there were dance and music demonstrations during lunch periods. The entire school watched “Girl Rising,” a move that addresses the issues girls face in seven different developing countries as they struggle to receive an education.
This year Ann Hasenorhl’s freshmen English classes contributed to Diversity Week by selling “One World” message bracelets they bought with a Cleveland Clinic eXpressions program grant they received after writing about ways to increase tolerance and acceptance. Hasenohrl’s students participated in the Maltz Museum “Stop the Hate” essay competition, which spring-boarded the idea of helping to spread compassion, tolerance and stopping the hate.