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Diversity Day more than 'black and white'


Jeff Clark



A week of learning more about people and their traditions and customs will culminate Saturday as Diversity Day will be recognized by Community Counseling Services at the request of the Department of Mental Health. 


According to CCS Director of Marketing Martha Wooten, adult and children clients that participate in Community Counseling Services Programs will be learning international dances, eating foreign foods and sharing recipes, painting faces on balloons, talking about family traditions, coloring world flags, and discussing how to cope with cultural differences in the workplace.  


"This is something that has been around for a while," Wooten said. "We're all from different backgrounds. This is not just about black and white -- there is so much more than that. This is a way for the community to have discussions about basic race relations. It's a way to talk about race and diversity in an open discussion." 


CCS Executive Director Jackie Edwards reiterated the need for unity and understanding. 


"The intended result in celebrating our diversity is that we create an atmosphere where race relations and differences in our upbringing or ethnic background can be discussed openly, in a manner where in which we learn from one another," Edwards said. 


Wooten said she hopes Diversity Day participants will walk away with an enhanced level of awareness and tolerance. 


"The overall purpose of the event is to bring consumers, staff and family members and citizens of different races and ethnic backgrounds together for dialogue to increase understanding and cooperative action in local communities," Wooten said. "I hope people will leave with a better awareness of how to work together." 


For more information regarding Diversity Day, call 662-327-3933.




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