When then-high school student Nina Foushee traveled to Alexandria, Egypt in summer 2010 for a language exchange, she harbored many of the same misconceptions about the Arab world as her fellow Americans, she said.
Six weeks later, the stereotypes about religious extremism, oppressed women and dangerous streets had been largely wiped away.
“I felt incredibly safe and welcomed my entire time in Egypt,” said Foushee, now an 18-year-old freshman at Stanford University.
Foushee was one of two speakers featured Thursday as La Cañada High School celebrated its second annual Diversity Week, designed to ignite a conversation among the student body among the importance of embracing peoples’ difference.
Parent volunteer and Diversity Week chair Makiko Nakasone said that she launched the program last year in order to complement the multi-cultural week celebrations already in place La Cañada Unified’s elementary and middle schools.
“I proposed to change the name to Diversity Week because I thought it is important to include not only students with difficult cultural backgrounds, but also students who are simply different because of their physical challenges or learning styles,” Nakasone said.