I respect my neighbors for the things we have in common and for our differences.
Often lauded for it’s ethnic and racial diversity, the City of Elk Grove this weekend invited residents to the 8th Annual Elk Grove Multicultural Festival. Dubbed a celebration of local diversity and inclusion, the event annually attracts hundreds of locals to Elk Grove Regional Park for a day of fun, sun, and cultural learning. This year the festival featured live entertainment spread across two shaded performance stages. In addition, Elk Grove showed up for local art, crafts for kids, a car show, dancing, music, food, and more.
Dozens of tents and food trucks colorfully animated the parks already scenic landscape. Adding to that scenery were the women, men, and children of Elk Grove, some draped in traditional cultural clothing, clearly enjoying this yearly celebration. All this while music from different nationalities and cultures filled the air. Cosumnes Oaks High School Drumline kicked-off Saturday’s festivities with a lively performance. All told, Elk Grove Multicultural Festival attempts to play a key role in motivating the people of Elk Grove around the beauty and power of what makes it’s residents both diverse and unified at the same time.
I realize no one in Elk Grove is exactly like me and that’s an amazing thing.
The Festival is a production of both the City of Elk Grove and it’s newly formed Diversity and Inclusion Commission. The Commission is the successor to the Elk Grove Multicultural Committee, which dissolved earlier this year. City Council members, including Darren Suen as well as Mayor Steve Ly, also attended the Festival.
August is Diversity Awareness Month in Elk Grove. Elk Grove Multicultural Festival caps off this month-long celebration of the different nationalities and cultures that call Elk Grove home. Diversity Awareness Month also features youth workshops, interfaith fellowship events, dance festivals and more.
I resolve that we all need to get along to make our community the best it can be.
The Festival is part of an attempt by community leaders to confront rising racial and ethnic tensions among local residents. A series of high profile racial incidents targeting especially African-Americans and Sikhs provide the impetus for this effort, all while local leaders work to do more to bring Elk Grove residents together in harmony.
Learn more about Elk Grove’s community conversations on race relations and implicit bias here: http://www.elkgrovecity.org/city_hall/departments_divisions/public_affairs/community_discussion_on_race
Learn more about the Diversity and Inclusion Commission here: http://www.elkgrovecity.org/cms/one.aspx?pageId=122320