SIXTH GRADERS PAYTON JOHNSON (right) and Cinthia Alcaraz take part in the Marina Del Rey Middle School Tolerance Fair.

Combining the celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and an effort to broaden the concept of diversity, Marina Del Rey Middle School in Del Rey held its second annual Tolerance Fair Jan. 18.
Several humanitarian and civil rights organizations had booths at the fair, as well as some local organizations such as the Mar Vista Family Center in Del Rey. The center is less than half a mile from the school and Mar Vista Gardens, home to many of the middle school’s students,
“The students are very excited about the fair,” said school Principal Dr. Brenda Ra’oof. “They want to learn about diversity and this is an opportune time for this.”
The school’s student population is primarily African-American, so the opportunity to engage in conversations about different ethnicities and cultures presents itself on a daily basis, Ra’oof said.
“There are at least seven different cultures that are represented at our school,” the principal said. “Anything that we can do to help expand their understanding of diversity and culture and tolerance is part of our job.”
Speakers from different organizations addressed the students about diversity and tolerance in their classrooms after the fair, which was held during lunch.