Cultural Festival in Morton Grove
Immigrant, alien, diversity, “them,” good or bad, our Americans use many words to describe immigrants to the country, and all of them seem to point towards differences. I’ll admit, I do the same thing even as a Uniting America Fellow. When I was planning a cultural event with the mother’s of MCC Full Time School, I publicized the event as a way to celebrate the diversity of Morton Grove. With 20 countries at the school displaying their cultures through food, art, and music, the event did highlight diversity. I guess in that respect it did exactly what we wanted it to accomplish, but it also did something I didn’t expect. The event created community.
The evening was full of hospitality, food tasting, conversations, visiting with old friends , and meeting new ones. Over 300 people passed through the gymnasium of MCC Full Time School throughout the evening, and I found myself focusing very little on the diverse group that gathered, but instead on the sense of togetherness the event created. I was able to learn about countries I’ve never been to from neighbors that live down the street. The conversations started in the gym with strangers, but they can continue in our homes with new friends.
Sure immigration in the US promotes diversity, and that’s a good thing. But, Uniting America promotes community, and I think that is even better.