It hit me as I read through some articles from a class I took during Lawrence’s winter trimester. The class, entitled Identity Politics and Ethnic Conflict, covered a history of major ethnic conflicts, along with theories of how it can be prevented. One of these theories said that the more people learn about and interact with people from ethnicities different from their own, the more likely that these groups would live in harmony.
Now, don’t get me wrong – the Fox Valley is certainly not on the verge of any kind of ethnic conflict. On the contrary. The Fox Valley is a very warm and open community. What I do want to focus on is this theory that says learning and interacting equals harmony between people of different ethnicities. It can be easy to forget that being a diverse community is not just about tolerance of other ethnic groups – rather, it’s about embracing these ethnicities and making sure that we take the opportunity to learn about them when we can.
So, that’s what I decided to do in my blog series: explore the manifestation of ethnicity in the Fox Valley by informing residents about different ethnic festivals, events, community centers, and restaurants, in order to help unite the Fox Cities in diversity. I hope you’re as excited as I am to explore this aspect of the Cities, and check back soon for my first post!
Do you have any suggestions of local ethnic events or organizations I should blog about? Leave a comment below!
—By Alyssa Villaire