The Beacon

Homecoming Royalty strives for diversity

Mimi with other African-American women she has inspired wearing Dashikis and white tees to show their cultural spirit.

Mimi with other African-American women she has inspired wearing Dashikis and white tees to show their cultural spirit.

Lila Chieng, Reporter

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This year, Elizabeth “Mimi” Bell, a senior at Harding High School, noticed a lack of

diversity in the past few Homecoming Royalty Queen winners and took the opportunity to inspire other African American women at Harding to push for change.  

Mimi, a member of NHS and student council, looked around and noticed

no other African-American women around her. Homecoming week came, and she saw that no other African-American women were applying for royalty. “It made me realize, why aren’t they running?” said Mimi. “Why aren’t they challenging themselves?”

She decided to be the change that was needed. “I wanted to uplift them,” she said. “…To be a role model… I wanted to inspire.”

Mimi decided to do that by campaigning the week of Homecoming. She had other African-American women come to school wearing dashikis or a white shirt and jeans to represent themselves.

The night before the Pepfest many students were devastated to hear that

royalty was being called off. “I found it to be really emotional,” Mimi said. “I had many girls waiting on that day, moms were showing up for their daughters. It would’ve been amazing to see these people who were rooting.”

Many people blamed the decision on racism. Students later learned there was a mixup on the vote counting. On Wednesday, the day of voting, Mimi went to Mr. Parks to discuss the changes that were needed and how the ballots were messed up. She wanted to have a revote the next day, but her ideas were brushed off. “If I knew she was in student council I would’ve taken her more seriously,” said Mr. Parks.

Mimi discusses how offended and disrespected she felt towards the situation. “You think I’m just another black girl,” she said. “Why do I need to be seen as student council or higher to be taken seriously? Honestly all I hear are lazy excuses.”

She found it to be immature, childish and unnecessary.  

Though she is exhausted from campaigning and being misunderstood, Mimi

said she would always do it again. She wouldn’t change anything about it because she believes she did everything she could. “I feel like the only people who need to change are teachers and students themselves,” she said. “They need to wake up to their actions and cultures.”

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Homecoming Royalty strives for diversity