Culver City Middle School students explore racial divide

Wave Staff Report

CULVER CITY — Culver City Middle School conducted what school officials called a successful “Just Say Hello Week,” designed to bridge racial divisions, explore differences and bring students together.

The week-long effort at the end of May was conducted to encourage students to speak to, play with and hang out with students who don’t look like them.

The Just Say Hello campaign coincided with the celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Month on campus.

Teachers and students wore “Just Say Hello” T-shirts, handed out “Just Say Hello” masks and stickers to students as they arrived on campus in the morning.

In addition, the students chalked “Just Say Hello” messages in multiple languages on the Culver City Middle School campus.

“Seeing students actively participate in the ‘Just Say Hello’ initiative is exactly what we want this campaign to do,” said Kerman Maddox, founder of Just Say Hello. “These young people can lead the way towards a future where we can better communicate our differences and bridge divisions.”

The program is supported by major funding from both corporate and private sponsors including Amazon, USC, Jamie Montgomery and City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas. Just Say Hello is also endorsed by Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, the UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

“Just Say Hello” is a campaign for small gestures with a big message: Say hello to somebody who doesn’t look like you. The campaign is inspired in part by the overwhelming movement to bridge the racial divide after the murder of George Floyd and countless others before him.

T-Shirts, masks and stickers are available at the Just Say Hello webstore at www.justsayhello.org with profits supporting the non-profit organization.

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