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Creating A More Inclusive Environment

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Drew Landsaw, a junior at Cutler Bay High School in Florida, first became involved with his school’s SAVE Promise Club while helping a friend give a Trusted Adult presentation to staff and administrators.

As members of SAVE Promise Club, we are committed to inclusiveness and empathy. Our clubs serve as safe havens for students of all groups. They serve as places where all individuals will be accepted and loved – regardless of who they are.    

Part of creating an inclusive environment is breaking the rift between grade levels that so often emerges in high school. SAVE Promise Club does this by opening communication and understanding between students through a variety of activities. 

“Speed Friendships”

One of the most successful virtual events in my school was “Speed Friendships.” In this event, anyone from the school could sign up and attend our Zoom gathering.

After some icebreakers, we divided the participants into breakout rooms with the instructions to “find something you all have in common.” That exercise was extremely effective, so much so that we are planning on replicating it for Say Something Week.

It’s also important that school communities embrace diverse ethnic cultures, promote inclusivity, and encourage empathy. Our region has one of the largest Hispanic populations. Each year, our Spanish National Honor Society hosts a grand Hispanic Heritage Fair. The event includes foods and drinks from all the home countries of the members of the club. 

Using Social Media To Embrace Diversity

Social media can be one of the most essential and useful tools for a Club. Particularly for students who are going to school virtually. This year, we have used social media for a variety of purposes: announcements, activities, recruiting, and more.

We have truly stretched the limits of our Club’s Instagram page this year. One activity was posting questions about school, traveling, food, pets, etc., and had students engage and respond in the comments for Start With Hello! We also used social media to increase participation for our Red Ribbon Week. Each week we select a shoutout to a student as a prize for winning one of our activities.

Embracing Empathy

Spreading empathy is the most important aspect of a SAVE Promise Club community. With so much going on in the world today, it’s essential to emphasize that your Club is an accepting place where you can talk about anything. 

Many of our activities center around gaining empathy for others in our community, “In My Shoes” is an activity where students anonymously share their experiences so their classmates can better understand. 

All of us need to do whatever we can to foster empathy and create a safe and supportive school environment.

Take Action

If you’re interested in learning about how to create a more inclusive and empathetic environment in your school, think about starting your own SAVE Promise Club today. Already a member? Check out the activity guide for more great ideas.