Submitted by Bedford Embraces Diversity

Bedford-Embraces-Diversity_Visit Bedford Embraces Diversity’s booth on Bedford Day! One of our first projects will be to lead the Bedford community in creating a “Diversity Quilt,” consisting of individual drawings that express how the artists interpret what diversity and respecting differences mean to them.

Plans are being made to exhibit it in the town library and eventually have it travel to various sites around the town before finding a permanent resting place. If you would like to create a drawing that expresses your family’s unique identity or diversity please drop it off at our Collection Box which will be in the front lobby of the Town Library or join us Bedford Day, Booth #47. Materials used to build the quilt are being donated by generous committee members and our local Staples.

Additionally, we will be launching our website, “Bedford Embraces Diversity.org” and taking pictures of families of all backgrounds at the booth, to build a Facebook diversity photo montage.

The quilt, website and the work of Bedford Embraces Diversity are meant to symbolize unity of all individuals, regardless of orientation, religion, race, culture, or other differences, and remind us of our obligation to ensure that every adult and child alike feel they live in a safe and welcoming community. We are also planning a multicultural festival for the spring of 2015.

Bedford Embraces Diversity is a group of concerned citizens, focused on community/cultural awareness; we are one of the three groups formed from the task force that responded to incidents of anti-Semitism earlier this year. Another group represents cross-denominational clergy, and a third supports the school system’s curriculum and diversity training.

Although the anti-Semitic acts committed in Bedford were recent, the community/clergy group seeks to establish itself as opposed to acts of discrimination or hate, regardless of time, place, or group being targeted. While such acts prevail throughout the country and world, communities can stand for not accepting these in any form.

After attending one of Jon Sills’ task force meetings, an 11-year-old child of gay parents wisely stated, “I’m so glad I went to this meeting, Mommy, because it made me feel that Bedford cares about families like mine.” Bedford Embraces Diversity’s mission is to ensure that anyone who lives in this town feels the same.

For more information on the quilt, to join our group, like us on Facebook (Bedford Embraces Diversity), or make a donation:

Marilou Barsam, Chair, barsammarilou@gmail.com:  Valerie Rushanan, Co-Chair valrushanan@verizon.net

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