Diverse work

10/9/2013

Credit community for efforts to grow in handling diversity.

Credit community for efforts to grow in handling diversity.

Finney County has a long tradition of welcoming immigrants who've filled labor needs ranging from railroad, beet field and sugar plant work to meatpacking duties.

It's made diversity a common theme in a community that's a melting pot of cultures, with more recent newcomers of Burmese and Somali descent adding to the mix.

While Garden City and Finney County have a solid record of embracing diversity, there's no simple, foolproof formula for successfully bringing together different cultures. Miscommunication, misunderstanding and more serious problems happen in all communities that attract people of other lands.

With that in mind, credit local governments and other entities for acknowledging the challenges and being proactive in pursuing even greater cultural understanding between residents in a majority-minority community, where racial composition is less than 50 percent white.

One event promising to enhance understanding arrives this week in the 2013 Diversity Dinner and Multi-Cultural Summit in Garden City.

The summit came about as an attempt to revive the former Five-State Multicultural Conference last presented in 2005 in Garden City.

With a variety of speakers and events, this year's summit is designed to help educators, human service providers, health care professionals, representatives of municipal governments and others better understand changing demographics, and ways to address related challenges and opportunities.

The city and Cultural Relations Board have arranged an impressive lineup of speakers who will tackle topics ranging from educational challenges in a community where many immigrants don't speak English, to health and social services issues and myriad other situations that arise in a diverse population.

After all, even the Garden City community has more to learn and understand when it comes to diversity.

Consider the local summit an opportunity to not only enhance understanding among different cultures, but also spotlight the many positive efforts of those determined to help people co-exist in a place still growing in terms of cultural diversity.

Indeed, it's encouraging to know a community already viewed by others as a model for multicultural change and progress won't rest on its laurels, and remains determined to grow even more in that regard.

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