Ice Cream Social

Everyone has probably heard of America be referred to as a ‘melting pot,’ a place where diverse people come together, blend with each other, and make something new. Lately though, people, particularly those who immigrated to the United States, have preferred to refer to it as a ‘salad bowl,’ a place where people of all different kinds come together while still maintaining their unique identities.

Although salads are delicious, it might be fun to explore this metaphor with an ice cream party. We would like you to think of America as an ice cream sundae, where diverse elements like ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and nuts come together, maintain their unique differences, but ultimately make all the elements in the dish better by doing so.

We suggest you host an ice cream social to celebrate “respect for all!” The ice cream social could be hosted at somebody’s home or even at your school. If you host one at your school, charge money for the sundaes to raise funds for a school club or for an outside organization. While planning your ice cream social, discuss with your gay straight alliance whether you think it’s better for places like a country or a school to be like an ice cream sundae (salad bowl) or like a milkshake (melting pot). Consider posing these questions:

  • Why is it important that people’s own individuality shine through in a collective group?
  • How do we simultaneously celebrate diversity while creating and maintaining a cohesive community?
  • Is it possible for us to stay different and still get along?
  • Is it actually bad if new people and places change who we are?

We’d love to hear about your ice cream social and post about it on Facebook and Twitter! Email us at and tell us what you did (and what toppings you bought)!