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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Essay Winners Underscore Westport’s Lack of Diversity

By James Lomuscio

TEAM Westport’s three winning essayists, all Staples High School students, took their hometown to task tonight for offering everything but de facto diversity.

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TEAM Westport essay winners (l-r) Eliza Llewelynn (second place), Megan Root (first place), and Kyle Baer (third place) are flanked by TEAM Westport Chair Harold Bailey (l) and First Selectman Jim Marpe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“I think Staples’ classes present a lot of the right questions, but the dearth of diversity means there are perspectives I’ve never heard,” writes Megan Root, a junior who won the $1,000 first prize for “Diversity: the Maestro of Innovation.”

Her thesis says that the lack of cultural exposure in a community that is 93 percent white does not “back the egalitarian ideals taught in history class and encouraged by our community.”

“Instead, our relative lack of interaction means many cultures remain unfamiliar to us, and humans tend to fear the unknown,” she said.

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