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South Mountain is a Mix It Up Model School


South Mountain High School

Phoenix, Arizona

With participation from several arts magnet programs at South Mountain, the Mix It Up event included music, an interpretative dance performance, stickers and buttons declaring “No Hate” and “I Am Me.” In the planning stages, student leaders suggested activities that would be the most successful with students. As a result, students wrote and passed kind notes to other students outside of their regular social groups.



The following is a Press Release:


For Immediate Release:                                     Contact: Debbie Kunes:

April 21, 2015                                                                                       



South Mountain High School Recognized for Tolerance Efforts


Designated ‘Mix It Up’ Model School by the Southern Poverty Law Center


            MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program has named South Mountain High School as a Mix It Up Model School for its exemplary efforts to foster respect and understanding among its students and throughout its campus during the 2014-15 school year.


            South Mountain High School is among 104 schools to receive the honor.


            “We are delighted to recognize South Mountain High School,” said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. “Mix It Up Model Schools have found innovative ways to create school environments where respect and inclusiveness are core values. They all serve as great examples of how a school—any school—can cultivate these values among their students, faculty and staff.”


The Teaching Tolerance program has hosted Mix It Up at Lunch Day for the past 14 years to help students demonstrate the importance of respecting each other’s differences. This year’s event will be held on October 27. Schools are encouraged to register at 


 Mix It Up at Lunch Day is a simple call to action. By asking students to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch, the event encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries. Many schools plan activities for the entire day, and some use the event to kick off yearlong explorations of social divisions.


The Mix It Up Model Schools met five criteria: They each hosted a Mix it Up at Lunch Day during the 2014-15 school year; they included different members of the school’s community—cafeteria staff, aides, administrators, teachers and students—in organizing the event; they followed up with at least two additional Mix It Up-related programs or events on campus; they publicized Mix It Up at Lunch Day or celebrated inclusiveness with posters, announcements and other media; and their event was seen by students and school officials as a success. 


The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Ala., is a nonprofit civil rights organization that combats bigotry and discrimination through litigation, education and advocacy.  For more information, see