In November, B2THWORLD's partner school in Rwanda, Kigali International Community School (KICS), had its annual Parade of Nations. Maybe you’ve been to such an event before? People representing their homelands and cultures through dress, art, and even food. People coming together to appreciate the “other-ness” of a rich community. As a teacher at KICS, it’s my favorite day of the year at KICS because both our diversity and our community are in focus. With students from East Africa and East Asia, the Middle East and America’s Midwest, our differences are on display in a way that they are not on a regular day. As we sat there on plastic chairs in the Rwandan sun, though, clapping to see the variety of colors and textiles parading by, what felt big were not our differences, but our togetherness.
For that was my daughter walking behind the Indian flag in her red and blue lengha. That was my student performing a traditional Korean dance. That was my daughter’s fourth-grade classmate teaching us about Yemen. Those were our seniors trying to out-jump each other in the Kenya room. Those were our voices (so many of them) that cheered loudest when the band played Rwanda Nziza, the national anthem of Rwanda.
Diversity isn’t about costumes or special days or interesting food and facts. Diversity isn’t about demographic percentages or faces in a brochure. Diversity is about the individual people that God made and put together to tell the story of His love.
I hope you take a couple of minutes to watch this video from KICS’s Parade of Nations. Parts of it go quickly, so watch it a few times to really take in the wonder of each child’s face, the art of each garment, the skill of each dance. I can’t bring myself to use the word “diversity” to describe it, because that doesn’t feel full enough for such a holy reality: God’s magnificent image stamped out over and over again, in an infinite amount of unique ways.