Diversity Day

Gresham’s pupils and staff celebrated Pride Month in our own unique way by making 19th June a day to dress up in clothes representing an aspect of our identity of which we are proud. The day saw an array of wonderful outfits: sumptuous African clothing, Chinese farmers’ hats, Egyptian skirts, football scarves and t shirts, Mr Majid in his Invictus t shirt, Mrs Mousley in a tiara having traced her family tree back to Edward I, Mrs Corder in a Brazil top celebrating her Brazilian heritage, Ms Masters in a Haida Pride t shirt celebrating her great great great grandmother, a native Canadian of the Haida tribe, and Mr Robb in colourful tartan trews and Liverpool tie, showcasing dual aspects of his identity.

We were treated to a fascinating presentation in chapel by Albert W and Mojo A who wore, respectively, traditional Ghanaian fugu and kente and Nigerian iro and buba, and explained how these outfits feature in their culture. Inviting the congregation to stand and talk a little about their choice of dress, we heard from Pullo W dressed as a Polish priest, who said: “I come from a Polish background. Poland is a traditionally Roman Catholic nation, so the purpose of my outfit was to represent the deeply-rooted Catholic culture and traditions Poland has acquired over the years.” Austin L wore a vibrant orange turban which he explained represents his Sikh religion. An eye-catching Ms Fielding explained her outfit thus: “It is only as I have got older that I have begun to understand the relevance of birthplace and how it forms part of my identity. It felt therefore only right to wear the colours of the Zambian flag on diversity day: green, orange, black and red. I wore my bright and clashing outfit with immense pride and remembered how being born in Zambia is part of who I am.”

Later in the day, the catering team came up trumps yet again with a delicious lunch of jerk butternut squash, jerk chicken salad and caramelised bananas, following our new tradition of an annual Afro-Caribbean-themed meal. We hope to repeat the day again next year and look forward to an even larger exhibition of outfits to celebrate aspects of our identities we might not otherwise share.