Nov 6, 2008

Diversity Council celebrates 20th Anniversary with special event

It seems fitting that the Livingston Diversity Council will hold its annual awards event on its 20th birthday, just days after the first African American President was elected.

The celebration will be held from 7-9 p.m. Friday at the Hartland Music Hall, 3619 Avon Road. It is free and open to the public, and the celebration will feature awards, a video about the group and entertainment by the Men of Grace, a musical ministry of Grace Gospel Fellowship.

The members of the group are currently in or have completed the one-year rehabilitation program at Grace Centers of Hope. The gospel-blues group performs spirituals, hymns, traditional and contemporary styles and personal expression. Grace Centers of Hope is Oakland County's oldest and largest homeless shelter.

The Livingston 2001 Diversity Council is a grass roots organization made up of business people, private citizens, educators, government officials and clergy who live or work in Livingston County with the mission of making the community ever more welcoming, harmonious and prosperous for people of all races, creeds and backgrounds.

The group was formed in 1988 in response to a cross burning in the yard of a black family in the county, and it was initially called Livingston 2001. It was so named because the children in kindergarten when the ugly incident occurred would be graduating from high school in 2001, and hopefully, entering a world where that kind of hate and prejudice was just an ugly footnote in history. A few years ago it changed its name to reflect its mission after 2001, but the mission remains the same.

One way the group meets its mission by bringing diverse people and forms of entertainment to the county. The group and community leader's have worked hard to live down the county's undeserved racist reputation, but when anti-gay hate groups like the so-called "LOVE" group- Livingston Organization for Values in Education- pops up it just reinforces that reputation.

No comments: