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Diversity and Inclusion Encompass Rochester

The+Greater+Rochester+Diversity+and+Inclusion+Action+Network+wishes+to+welcome+the+new+government+administration+with+an+open+mindset+while+also+building+a+welcoming+community+in+the+Rochester+area.%0APhoto+by%3A+Samantha+Phillips
The Greater Rochester Diversity and Inclusion Action Network wishes to welcome the new government administration with an open mindset while also building a welcoming community in the Rochester area.
Photo by: Samantha Phillips

The Greater Rochester Diversity and Inclusion Action Network wishes to welcome the new government administration with an open mindset while also building a welcoming community in the Rochester area. Photo by: Samantha Phillips

Photo by: Samantha Phillips

Photo by: Samantha Phillips

The Greater Rochester Diversity and Inclusion Action Network wishes to welcome the new government administration with an open mindset while also building a welcoming community in the Rochester area. Photo by: Samantha Phillips


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Diversity and Inclusion Encompass Rochester

 

As a new age of politics dawns upon the United States, a local group is seeking to take action against what they see as potential for a divided nation. The Greater Rochester Diversity and Inclusion Action Network wishes to welcome the new government administration with an open mindset while also building a welcoming community in the Rochester area.

“Right after the election, I knew we had to get this group off the ground. So I called a meeting, and in two weeks time we had over 120 members,” said the group’s founder, Joanna Vanraaphors. “We need to work together to make sure everyone here in our community feels valued included and now more than ever safe.”

The first meeting on November 29, 2016 focused primarily on introductions, Members mingled with one another, becoming accustomed with each other’s differences while holding onto their common goal: to build a community which shows love and support for everyone. To conclude the meeting, those present drafted anonymous lists which detailed their “visual” and “hidden” identities. This list would come into play during the group’s second meeting.

“We are so glad to see such a great group of people standing up for equity and justice in the Greater Rochester area!” said one of the network’s managers, Josh Lee, following the first meeting.

On January 17, 2017, the group met once more. Handed a list of the many anonymous identities which were drawn up two months prior, the purpose of sharing those identities was clear. Members could see that the individuality of those in their community is greatly diverse; no person is quite the same, thus discrimination against others serves no purpose. Again, it became clear that any initial thoughts of judgment against others should be replaced with love and acceptance.

In order to convert positive words and preachings into action, the group broke down into six smaller subgroups, each working toward a different goal. Each section devised a short term and a long term goal as well as the steps they see as necessary to reach those objectives.

Kids, teenagers and adults alike are welcome to join in on the process of building a united community at any point in time. Even with two meetings under its belt, the group wishes to continue growing and raising awareness for its cause.

“I think teenagers should join because they can learn ways to take part in the community and they can take part in something they care about,” said junior Delaney Rutherford, who has attended both meetings thus far.

The Action Network plans to meet again on Tuesday, February 16 at Abiding Presence Lutheran church in order to touch base and continue taking progressive steps toward its goals.

 

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Diversity and Inclusion Encompass Rochester