Diversity, It’s More Than Black and White

Diversity, It’s More Than Black and White

Written by the HATS Leadership Team

One mistake made when it comes to talking about diversity is the bad habit of applying our own definition to that which is already defined.

Diversity is not all about race or racism, though these are one aspect of the issue.  It is about the differences between each and every one of us, and those things that make us different from each other reach way beyond the mere color of our skin.

It’s about the man in a wheelchair who competes in the marathon right alongside those who are running on two legs.

It’s about the woman in a male-dominated work environment, who works just as hard as the men, and only asks for equal pay and equal treatment in return.

It is about the young child whose family is living in poverty.  As his parents struggle to feed their family, he doesn’t have anything expensive to show off at school.  All he wishes for is to be treated equally by his peers, and maybe even to have a friend or two.

Diversity isn’t about you, and it certainly isn’t about me.  Diversity is about us.

Hands Around the Square (HATS) in Valparaiso is a celebration about us.  Organized by four engaged Valparaiso residents, it is a celebration of diversity and what it truly means, and an event that’s purpose is to create more awareness in our community as to how we’re treating each other.

All people have the ability to exclude others because they are different.  The list of examples of this does not end.

Regardless of our individual backgrounds, we all need to put forth the effort not to exclude others simply because they’re different from us.  This is not the job of one race or group of people.  It’s the responsibility of our community as a whole.

Let’s foster a good habit in this town.  It’s a habit called the Golden Rule.  Let’s make it the one thing that defines our city.  Doing unto others as we would have them do unto ourselves.

We are a good city, a caring city and a proud city that should have no problem being defined by the simple Golden Rule.  We can start by taking a stand for what’s right—a stand for unity in our community now.

Hands Around the Square will be held on October 2 at 6 p.m. on the Porter County courthouse square.  Those who support HATS are welcome to join in.

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What is Hands Around the Square?

What is Hands Around the Square?

Hands Around the Square Unity in Diversity Vigil, also known as HATS, is a peaceful candlelight vigil that was founded in November, 2009 by a resident in the city of Valparaiso. It was organized by a group effort.

It’s purpose is to promote the inclusion and acceptance of all people in the city, regardless of all of our differences. Its main objective is to gather as many people from all walks of life as possible at the Porter County court house square in order to surround the court house while holding hands and having a candlelight vigil for peace and togetherness in our community. HATS promotes the equality of all, and disregards any bias, any hatred, any discrimination and any acts of exclusion no matter the source.

HATS will have new developments in the program this year, and it will be even more fun than the last. We will need all of your help in the spreading of the word. It takes a little bit of effort from each one of you to celebrate all of us in the city of Valparaiso.

This event also invites residents of all communities in Northwest Indiana, and to anyone who wants to peacefully celebrate unity in our diversity with us. It doesn’t matter where you live. Last year, people from Michigan City, Chicago, Hebron, Chesterton, Schererville, East Chicago, Gary, Portage, Hobart and other cities came out to show their support. The only thing that matters is that you bring your hands around the square.

Thank you to all of you who have so strongly supported Hands Around the Square from the beginning.  We’re looking forward to seeing you this year.

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