By Alvin Codner:
Diversity is an essential item when it comes to holistic growth within a community. Regardless of the change you attempt to make, if it deals with a group of people, cultivating a diverse committee helps ensure various perspectives are represented in decision making. When I speak on diversity, I am not just speaking on ethnicity... I am also speaking on diversity within education level, economic status, gender, age, sexual orientation, language, etc. Once ethnic groups learn to interact with each other in a respectable manner... the rest of the diversity categories will be easier to address.
The city of Kissimmee should form a diversity committee to hopefully appease all the different populations within Kissimmee so they can be heard and understood. The people of the city need to understand the structures that support inequity provided to them in order to implement effective long-term change in diversity issues. The first steps to this process is closing the "understanding gaps" between the different cultures and generations. Having a different outlook on life and people who don't look like you, will be vital to this process in building trusting relationships and bridge the understanding gap.
A few objectives the Kissimmee Diversity Committee (KDC) members will be doing as they serve are:
Share personal concerns/experiences within their community/culture that helps make it possible to address issues of privilege, power, and inequity that is present within the city.
Measure and communicate progress towards community change
Engage new people to build on the change that has already happened to maintain sustainability.
Lack of diversity and (more importantly) racial inequity will be a hindrance to any holistic community growth. To achieve a long-term effective change, the public servants of our community must have an equitable thought process internally and exert those thoughts, ideas, and projects to the public in a timely manner. The KDC will be able to ensure and or increase that process for the people in Kissimmee.