A Banquet of Diversity
A banquet of diversity
A couple of months ago, my husband and I hosted a dinner for some of his colleagues. Together we ate, laughed, and talked. It was a lovely evening.
Because I have received anti-racism training, my eyes are open in a different way. I am much more aware of diversity in its many forms. I notice racial differences – who is at the table and who is not. Consequently after our guests left, I considered who was at our dinner table.
With only seven of us present, there was both white and black skin with various beautiful shades in between. People at our table had parents who had immigrated from Pakistan, Ireland, Romania, Iraq, and China. Although several of the young adults were single, one man was married with a baby on the way. Most of us were straight but a gay man with a boisterous personality infiltrated the conversation with laughter. The prayer before dinner brought Baptists, Catholics, Muslims, Methodists, and ‘nones’ together in a spirit of harmony and peace.
Once the bouquet of ethnic, racial, and religious had come to a sweet resonance with me, my second consideration was how that kind of richly diverse people came together with such comfort and ease. My husband and I had not intentionally invited those that would offer diversity; rather, we had simply asked friends and co-workers.
My conclusion was what brought us together was the common mission everyone shared. All of our guests are educators at schools that my husband helped to found that educate children in economically challenged neighborhoods in Chicago. All the teachers and staff are dedicated to teach the young scholars with a spirit of compassion and integrity. The work is very demanding at times yet deeply rewarding. Their dedication is more than impressive.
Certainly, the atmosphere of the schools is one of openness, yet it is the mission that draws such a vast array of people. No one was recruited to work there because of his or her race or ethnicity; no one was a token. Each valued for the specific gifts that she or he has to offer.
As Call To Action continues unfold into an anti-racism, anti-oppression organization, perhaps it is the mission that we need to keep front and center. My prayer is that Call To Action’s mission reaches out to the margins of the society and the Church, and the strength of the mission will call people together, creating a banquet of diversity for the betterment of the world.