Two Worlds Collide During Cultural Exchange


Lydia Bermel

Students from Global Academy and Ms. Clark’s AP Human Geography class discuss cultural differences during a cultural exchange activity Monday, Nov. 21st

Lydia Bermel, Staff Writer

Students from charter school Global Academy located in Columbia Heights made a stop at LNHS on Monday as part of a cultural exchange field trip hosted by Ms. Clark’s AP Human Geography class. Her husband, Andy Charrier, a teacher at Global Academy helped put this display on.

These students from Global Academy  spent the last trimester studying race, public speaking and photography.  In room 121 students displayed their photography projects to students in Ms. Clark’s class while in room 248 an Arabic lesson was given to Profe Kennedy’s Spanish class.

Students taking AP Human Geography have been learning about race, culture and religion, and having this opportunity to see it first hand “ related really well” said freshman Brady Barns.

Students from Global Academy worked on four main projects. The photograph projects explored diptych, which compared injustices they saw in the community, the Voices Project where they took pictures of themselves with words that represented who they are, the “We Are All Africa” project, which expresses the students’ pride in their heritage, and Girls in Math, photos that pay tribute to the black women who worked for NASA in the 1960s.

As students from Lakeville North wandered from various displays, a common theme was pride in their religion, race and family history. In a world and time where xenophobia is very present, these students stand up and take pride in who they are.

Global Academy student Fortuan Ali said she is is proud to be from Somalia and that even though the post election fear is very real in her community, they continue to be stronger together. Many students expressed their recent fear and anxiousness post election, but the sense of pride and community outweighed any fear these students had.

Aaliyah AbdulHakim took a photo of herself posing with a peace sign and a piece of paper saying “ignore the hate.”

“All this hate to minorities and religions is unreal,” said AdulHakim. “It’s hard. Life’s hard.” AbdulHakim said she plans on “ giving voice to the voiceless” and dreams of being on the UN someday.

As students from both schools sat down with each other to uncover similarities and differences between themselves, they bonded over their love for basketball and Snapchat. One main difference they acknowledged in large-group discussion was religion. Students at Global Academy were shocked to learn that some students were able to decide their religion rather than have a parent tell them what to believe. Meanwhile, North students were surprised to learn during a large group discussion, that some Global Academy students went to several  religious classes on the weekends.

At Lakeville North the student body is mainly Christian while Global Academy is mainly Muslim, which gave students perspective to a huge cultural difference between the two schools.

“It was cool to see similarities between us, even though we’re from different communities,” says Lakeville North freshman Johanna Seling.