Barbara A. Young, Member of Valparaiso Diversity Network Association Writes About the Porter County Foundations Commitment to Inclusiveness

By: Barbara Jo Adkins Last Updated: July 30, 2010

The Porter County Community Foundation is committed to inclusion and unity for the advancement of Porter County. In addition to including these concepts in our values statement, the Foundation has adopted a Commitment to Inclusiveness Policy as recommended by the Race Relations Council of Northwest Indiana.

We believe that diversity enriches our community in many ways. From an organizational standpoint, we strive for diversity in the very broadest sense of the word. We want our work to be directed and influenced by citizens from all walks of life. We want the advice of young adults because it is their future we are building. We want the influence of different cultures so that we may benefit from their unique perspectives and customs. We want people engaged from different economic and vocational backgrounds from across our county geographically to help us understand and appreciate the issues facing all of us in Porter County.

The Foundation has taken an active role in various organizations that are working to eliminate racism and promote Porter County as a welcoming community. We applaud the work being done by the Race Relations Council of Northwest Indiana, the Valparaiso Human Relations Council, the Valparaiso Diversity Network Association and the Valparaiso Ministerial Association for taking a very public stance against racism. Unfortunately, the continuation of racially motivated incidents in our communities tells us that there is much work to do.

The Foundation will continue to provide financial support to the various groups working to improve race relations in Porter County. We will continue to work with others to help raise awareness of the negative impact racism has our communities. And, even more importantly, to promote the positive benefits that come from being a welcoming and diverse county. Our economic future in Porter County will be determined by how well we as a community create an environment that truly values diversity. A successful community is one that welcomes all and provides the necessary support to overcome barriers so that each citizen has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.