Inclusivity Month at ALHS


April is inclusivity month at Albert Lea High School, and I wanted to share some things about how important it is to be inclusive. The definition of “inclusivity” according to Oxford Languages is “the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those having physical or intellectual disabilities or belonging to other minority groups.” 


Some might argue that we are already very inclusive, but I would argue the opposite. Being inclusive means that we are “providing equal access to opportunities and resources” to everyone. This task is impossible to do. In saying this, I don’t mean we should do nothing. Instead we should never stop trying because there is always room for improvement. 


Being inclusive starts with the simple task of being kind. It doesn’t take much to notice something that excludes others as there are always people being left out on a daily basis. For example, someone sitting alone at lunch or someone being left out of an activity. We see these things all the time and tend to do nothing about it. Everyone is guilty of overlooking a situation because it seems like it’s “not their problem,” but I believe that making people feel included should be everyone’s problem. 


In the month of April, I challenge everyone to be more aware of your surroundings and notice when something or someone isn’t being inclusive. This could be a teacher not making their assignments accessible, an activity that not everyone can participate equally in, someone sitting alone at lunch, or an event that doesn’t include everyone who should be involved. 


One of the worst feelings is to feel alone. I don’t wish this feeling on anyone. Even if we can’t fix all of the things around the school that aren’t inclusive, let’s take the time to acknowledge our faults, work towards a better reality and make our fellow students and staff of AHLS feel seen and a little less alone.