The Woodbridge Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), which I have the privilege to co-chair with Tahera Parvez, has sponsored a variety of events designed to bring our community together by heightening our awareness of, and sensitivity to, the experiences of our neighbors. One way the Committee has done this is through an ongoing book talk series. Residents have thus far had the opportunity to discuss issues focusing on the experiences of Black, Asian, and Jewish communities in America.
The DEI Committee has also sponsored and organized the now annual Woodbridge Like Me Day, which last year attracted over 300 participants. Woodbridge Like Me Day highlights and celebrates the many communities that make up our increasingly diverse Town. The next Woodbridge Like Me Day will be held on September 30; you may want to mark your calendar now.
The Committee also conducted the Experiencing Woodbridge Survey as a “temperature check” of how well we as a community are creating a welcoming environment. It offers a window into how our experiences may mirror or differ from those of our neighbors. And last month, the Committee hosted a Community Conversation at the JCC to discuss the results of the survey. About 30 people participated in this discussion, expressing their love of Woodbridge, their appreciation for our outstanding schools, abundant open space, and natural beauty, and their desire to find more ways to engage with a broader cross section of Town residents.
This desire for greater connection is especially timely as we consider the recent experience of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, who was shot in Kansas City because he accidentally went to the wrong house to pick up his siblings. This is something that should never happen anywhere. Let’s protect against it in Woodbridge by getting to know and appreciate our neighbors and the many ways our values and goals for our families and our community align.
As we learn more about the experiences of others in our community, we become better neighbors. We also recognize that here, as in any other community, there is much to be done to become more welcoming and connected. Woodbridge can be proud that we recognize these goals and that we are committed to a sustained effort to achieve them.
For those thinking about ways to become more engaged, it is helpful to know that this is the first year that Woodbridge municipal elections will be held in November, rather than May. Now is an ideal time to start thinking about whether you would like to get involved in campaigns or otherwise engage in Town activities. In addition to elected offices, the Town depends heavily upon appointed volunteer board and commission members. This year, the terms of several of our board and commission members will expire at the end of the year, consistent with our new election schedule. You can find descriptions of the Town boards and commissions here: ecode360.com/10519279.
If you have an interest in running for office or in filling an appointed position, the Woodbridge Democratic Town Committee would like to hear from you. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the Woodbridge Democratic Town Committee, please visit our website: http:// www.woodbridgedems.org. We look forward to connecting with you!
<span class="fineprint">This is an opinion not necessarily endorsed by the Woodbridge Town News.</span>