Wyandotte County is a wonderfully diverse community. In order to be able to serve such a diverse community, we have to be aware of the people, places and events that shaped our community and work to understand how this history affects our community today – the triumphs and the traumas.
This desire to better understand Wyandotte County’s richly diverse history sparked an idea among the members of Wyandot BHN’s Diversity Task Force. The task force recently launched a new effort – called Celebrating Diversity. And the name truly says it all. This project is about showcasing and celebrating the various people, places and events that have come together over the years to shape our community. The Celebrating Diversity project recently highlighted Western University, the first historically black college west of the Mississippi River, which served Black families in this community for nearly 80 years. Pieces of history like Western University need to continue to be celebrated because they helped to shape the community that exists in Wyandotte County today.
In addition to highlighting Wyandotte County’s history, we are also highlighting the diversity of our staff as part of this project. In many ways, our staff reflect the diversity of Wyandotte County. They come from many different backgrounds and bring with them a variety of experiences. In the weeks and months to come, we will be highlighting staff members who identify as Iranian American, who are bilingual and who want to use their personal stories to inspire and advocate for others.
We are lucky to be part of a community where we are surrounded by people who don’t always look, think and act the same way we do. We need to recognize that our surroundings present us with an incredible opportunity for growth. We need to embrace that opportunity and actively do the work to see how people of different cultures come together to create a more vibrant community here in Wyandotte County.
When we celebrate diversity, we take a step toward greater inclusion and equity. And that is the ultimate goal of Celebrating Diversity.