Diversity assembly impacts Liberty in a big-elephant way


Brittany Toombs, Staff Writer

Speaker Stu Cabe caused a significant inspirational stir at Liberty with his motivating talk about inclusion and anti-bullying at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day diversity assembly on January 16.
ASB has been focusing on diversity, anti-bullying, and creating a culture of kindness in recent years rather than the historical aspect of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“We think topics like diversity and anti-bullying are more now—these are issues that are more relevant in this day and age,” ASB senior president Cherelle Demps said. “Diversity and anti-bullying are more relevant today than ever before. People know about MLK, but the inclusion piece is something that we can always work on.”
Many students were greatly impacted by the assembly as well, and supported ASB’s choice to stray from a strictly historical aspect to the holiday.
“MLK and diversity and anti-bullying all intertwine, and talking about them simultaneously can increase the impact of the message,” sophomore Jessie Spradling said. “The assembly has made me a lot more conscious about how I interact with others.”
The ASB executive board researched speakers who were interactive, engaging, and powerful, which is how they came across Stu Cabe. His speech on “big elephants” (role models who do the right thing) and their influence on “little elephants” (impressionable troublemakers who make bad choices) was a wakeup call for many.
“The assembly made realize that we can still improve,” ASB sophomore male senator Jacob Wittenberg said. “Liberty is in a pretty good spot with our WE ARE ONE theme and inclusion, but there’s always more that we can do to make this school a little better.”
Cabe – an inspirational speaker who travels the country spreading the word that working hard, playing fair, and being nice are important – definitely caused a stir at Liberty. The feedback, though mainly positive, was laced with a handful of naysayers.
“I think Stu Cabe created a little friction with his comments, but I think friction is healthy—it helps a person to grow and makes people think,” Michelle Munson, the ASB advisor, said. “It pushes some boundaries and comfort levels, but without that friction you can’t really move forward as an individual.”
Despite the friction that came along with the topic, maintaining a culture of kindness has always been a main goal of ASB, the administration, and students alike. Wittenberg thinks Cabe brought Liberty one step closer to creating that culture.
“With the theme of WE ARE ONE, it’s one of our major goals to inspire inclusion, and I think that the speaker was very effective to make his message very relatable to everyone,” Wittenberg said. “I think I’m a big elephant but I can get bigger.”