BY KYLE NELSON
“Hate has no home here.”
On November 6, 2017, the courtyard at CCHS was filled with love.
While planning the annual peace pole ceremony, Multicultural Club co-presidents Sarah Molina and Ayan Fitzgerald decided to make the ceremony a little more memorable. With the addition of trained doves, school board members, members from every CCHS extracurricular and artwork in the grass, the officers of Multicultural Club saw it as a much larger event than ever before.
At CCHS, Multicultural Club prides themselves on preaching the phrase, ‘Unity in diversity.’ This aphorism is what united all who attended the peace pole rededication. With the club motto in mind, co-president and senior Sarah Molina sought to show her true passion for change through the rededication.
“This club is an escape where I can be [my] true self. It gives so much meaning to me because it has help[ed] me grow into the better person I’m becoming,” Molina said. “The ceremony was a way to have everyone come together and understand the meaning of peace.”
The ceremony consisted of a slew of highly-ranked attendees. Among the attendees included members of each extracurricular activity in CCHS, faculty members, and Broward County school board representatives including superintendent Robert W. Runcie and Mayor Greg Ross. The crowd of people circled around a podium in the courtyard where speeches from Multicultural Club sponsor Kevin Fair, along with Molina and Fitzgerald, were given. Molina specifically felt particularly moved by the audience she was speaking in front of.
“We are so happy [with] the outcome and how it hit every person who either watched or was there at the ceremony,” Molina said. “It is one of the most unique and important ones at Cooper City High, especially during this time with all the chaos in the world. Having the peace pole ceremony was a reminder of needing good and reinforcing the meaning of peace to everyone.”
Along with the three speeches, Joania Hernandez presented a poem calling for peace in our society.
“Reading for the Peace Pole Ceremony was a privilege and an honor,” Hernandez said. “I know my poem wasn’t all sunshine and flowers, but if we want to see real change in the world we need to see the bare-boned truth, even if it isn’t pretty.”
One representative for SGA was senior Jenny Burleton, who found the ceremony specifically important because of the passion the club advisor and officer board put into planning the event.
“I have known these people for a long time because I know the officers put their heart and soul into this. I know that Mr. Fair and the co-presidents really care about this,” Burleton said.
After speeches and the presentation of colors, CCHS club members and administration would each take a white rose and place it around a peace symbol in the courtyard grass. Upon placing the roses, members would say the phrase, “hate has no home here,” pledging it keep CCHS a hate-free zone.
“I think that this Peace Pole Ceremony is something that makes sure it sticks in everyone’s mind,” Fitzgerald said. “There is so much division going on in our nation, so I thought it was important to rededicate the peace pole.”