“I think it really is the biggest showcase of racial segregation in our school right now,” said senior Elena de Toledo of B-CC’s cafeteria. “I interviewed kids and they said that they were embarrassed to have to eat in there.” “There shouldn’t be a room [that fuels separation] in our school.”

Overcome with anger about the negative stigma of the cafeteria and the general apathy toward this issue in B-CC, de Toledo set out to find a solution.

She teamed up with the Minority Scholars Program and the Leadership class, and accumulated $2,000 in grants for the project before the start of the school year.

The team plans to bring new chairs and tables to the cafeteria and decorate it with materials that promote interaction, such as chalkboards. De Toledo envisions “a huge calendar that clubs can use to plan when they’re going to meet” and an “interactive wall garden, which students can work on together.”

“We want [the cafeteria] to be a place where students of all backgrounds can come together for meals,” said de Toledo.