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Remarks by Mayor Kobylarz at the Cultural and Diversity Celebration of Madison and the Chathams 

Remarks by Mayor Kobylarz at the Cultural and Diversity Celebration of Madison and the Chathams 

 

Greetings everyone, and welcome to this celebration of the growing diversity that makes up our Chatham and Madison communities.

The increasing effort in recent years by various bodies within our respective towns to embrace and celebrate our growing diversity is a most auspicious and positive development, one that should itself be embraced and celebrated.

This is because the complex cultural, ethnic, racial, religious, philosophical, socio-economic, class, gender, and sexual-orientation matrices that define each and every one of us as human beings constitute the lens through which we, as individuals, perceive and evaluate everything around us.

These are the frameworks through which we, as individuals, form judgments as to the familiar and the unfamiliar.

As such, the embrace and celebration of our vast and inescapable diversity helps build bridges of understanding between, and among, all of us.

Through this embrace, we begin to see how we may learn from one another. We come to recognize and respect different “ways of being” and different “ways of seeing”.

This, in turn, allows us to develop greater bonds of trust, of respect, and of cooperation and partnership across our diverse frames of reference.

On top of that, we begin to appreciate how much our diversity serves to make our towns a more stimulating and vibrant place to live, as community members from different groups exchange new ways of thinking, new traditions, and new modes of understanding, with one another.

The embrace of our diversity, in all its forms, supports the idea that every person can make a unique and positive contribution to society because of, rather than in spite of, his or her or their individual differences.

Imagine, for a moment, a community where diversity, in all its forms, is fully embraced and respected; a community where different “ways of being” and different “ways of seeing” are fully acknowledged and valued; a community where contributions from all groups are fully encouraged; a community where everyone is empowered to achieve their full potential; indeed, a community where individual differences are fully cherished and celebrated.

As John Lennon once said, “you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

For your participation in today’s event makes it very clear to me that each and every one of you shares this ennobling vision.

In fact, today’s event is clear evidence to me that this is now the sort of community we in the Chathams and Madison aspire to be.

And that, my friends, is a tremendously wonderful thing!

You know, it’s been said that “diversity is the one inescapable circumstance that we as human beings have in common.”

Given this fundamental feature of the human condition, I do think we’re on to something very special and very important here.

Thank you all for coming today!