Unpacking diversity, promoting inclusion

Agents of Change invites students to discuss diversity in a safe space


Teaming Together: Agents of Change meet to begin the club’s purpose of embracing diversity, beginning by sharing a bit about themselves to form bonds. Organization leader Hannah Brown said, “I’m here to guide the group; this is a nonprofit organization and I’m one of the leaders.”

Sage Spirk, Reporter

This year, a handful of Oakwood students were invited to join Agents of Change, a non-profit organization that focuses on helping schools and students dive into diversity and deconstruct biases. These students will meet Dec. 3, 6 and 10 to get the conversation of diversity rolling, and Lori Peters, Administrative Assistant to the Principal, provides a guiding hand.

“We do team building activities as well as have discussions with students from their personal experiences and others,” Peters said. “Students with diverse backgrounds, different ages and grades bring a variety of perspectives.”

Agents of Change is offered to schools throughout the district thanks to Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS), which is where the grant comes from. Their services pertain to public mental health. Peters hopes for it to be an asset to Oakwood in the long run. 

“Taking the time to learn about ourselves in order to support the needs of others is a positive thing for our school,” Peters said. “Hopefully we will continue to become ethical decision makers as stated in the Oakwood Mission Statement.” 

Peters does more than oversee the group, as she assists Oakwood kids with communication. With Agents of Change, she is able to further provide students with tools and skills that they can utilize in the future. 

“Our goal is for students to learn from other peoples experiences, understand diversity and others backgrounds as well as become leaders in our school,” Peters said. “The students go through seven weeks of training to become leaders and share with others.”

Wright Chen (10) is a member who was originally recommended to join the club, and he describes how it felt to find out he was a candidate.  

“I felt interested and curious as to what this organization was about,” Chen said. “The people from NCCJ (the organization that hosts Agents of Change) were super amazing as well and I am glad I took advantage of this opportunity.”

Like Peters, Chen has hopes of how Agents of Change will fit into his life in a positive way. 

“I hope this club will enrich my life by educating me on more opportunities to give back to the community, which based on past experiences, is super beneficial and rewarding,” Chen said. ”I believe that it is very important to understand diversity and unlearn stereotypes because nothing good ever comes from the alternative to the two. My overall mindset in joining this club is wanting to see how others enact change to better the world and for me to model myself after them.”

For students who wish to learn more about the organization and the cause, visit nccgreaterdayton.org or contact Lori Peters at [email protected].