Introduction to Playing hide & seek with diversity, a series of student stories


Standing for an end-of-year photo, senior Didi Elsyad joins her freshman IBET class. Elsyad was the only Black student in her class.

Sonia Kanchan, Editor-in-Chief

Feb. 23. March 13. May 25. May 26. 

The first three dates mark influential events of the Black Lives Matter movement- the days Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd went from being Black civilians to victims of ignorance and intolerance. These three people are only a few of the many Black men and women who’ve lost their lives to systemic racism, sparking outrage across the country.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President Derrick Johnson defined systemic racism for USA TODAY as “systems and structures that have procedures or processes that disadvantage African Americans.”

As the concept of systemic racism has gained steam, many Jefferson students have begun to examine its presence in their classrooms. 

May 26 brought particular outrage throughout the Jefferson community with the release of Class of 2024’s admission statistics. They stated that the number of Black students admitted was “too small to report,” indicating that the number was less than 10, in a class of 486 students.  

Following the release of the statistics, numerous current and past students began to speak out about their experiences with race and diversity at Jefferson. 

This introduction serves as background to, Playing hide & seek with diversity, a series of student stories. You’ll read of first-hand experiences regarding diversity, belonging to both minority and majority students. The tjTODAY team hopes all readers can embrace these stories with respect and understanding.