San Luis Obispo County

Arroyo Grande High School debuts statue celebrating diversity

Arroyo Grande High School debuts...

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. - A new piece of art greets all that enter Arroyo Grande High School as they unveiled their new diversity statue on Thursday. 

This 11-foot statue called "Arboring Our Roots of Diversity" was designed by three Arroyo Grande students. 

The sculpture has words like "faith," "community," "heritage," and "culture" to acknowledge the need for more awareness about equality for people in marginalized communities--such as LGBTQIA and those of different races. 

Numerous groups like the Five Cities Diversity Coalition helped raise money for this project and are now commemorated with a plaque on the statue. 

A.G. High School's Gay-Straight Alliance President Skylar Grisaffi says this statue helps them feel more represented on campus, telling us: "It just shows how inclusive schools are becoming and how much more accepted minorities and marginalized groups are on campus."

For Joel Conn, his dad helped play a major role in getting this statue on campus through his work in the Five Cities Diversity Coalition. He says students are dealing with hate speech and micro-aggressions on a day to day basis in our community. He hopes this statue provides a teaching moment for the students. 

"I think it starts with our kids, we've tried going the other way to our adults and it doesn't work. But if we go to our kids it trickles up to the adults and that's where I think it all starts - is with awareness that there is a problem, awareness of the importance of diversity and cultural identity," says Conn. 

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