Opinion: Commentary: Diversity and Inclusion As a Strength

Opinion: Commentary: Diversity and Inclusion As a Strength

In light of the division which continues to deepen in our country and our society, the Board of Directors of the Centreville Immigration Forum wants to reaffirm the mission and values central to our organization. The current political and social climate appears to become more divisive with each passing day. The Centreville Immigration Forum calls upon our local community to be a model for the nation by respecting people who offer differing solutions to the problems we face, rather than falling into political arguments which are detrimental to all of us.

Part of the mission of the Centreville Immigration Forum is to “build community recognition of our strength in diversity.” We embrace this principle and will continue to champion diversity and inclusion as a strength for our local community and the nation as a whole. This community and nation have demonstrated so much progress in the last half-century. We have come too far to turn back the clock, especially when there is more to accomplish. Freedom of Speech is what defines our democracy. Where would we be without courageous leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and Cesar Chavez – among thousands of others – who demonstrated such courage in speaking out for what is right and just, challenging our country to live up to the ideals upon which it was founded?

We steadfastly believe that the diversity of our community and nation will be one of the defining characteristics which will continue to make us the envy of the world. The voices of immigrants belong in public discourse, whether they are the voices of day laborers, business entrepreneurs, or members of Congress. We hope that the local community shares our vision, dreams, and aspirations, where diversity and inclusion are valued and where we work together for the benefit of us all.

The author is President of the Board of Directors of Centreville Immigration Forum.