Unity in the Community
Ten Years of Diversity and Community Building

Last August, the Spokane HUD Office partnered with the community to celebrate diversity at the 10 th Annual "Unity in the Community" festival at Liberty Park. There were 70 community information booths aimed at enhancing personal health, well being and improving the community's quality of life. This year's theme, "Ten Years Together", reflects how diverse cultures throughout the world have come together. Organizers say the event grows every year. Pastor Lonnie Mitchell, the voice of the Bethel AME Church and one of the event's co-founders, says that Spokane is not a particularly diverse place to live, but event co-chairman Garrett Daggett said there's a good variety of culture in the area, and it's important to recognize it.

The event kicked off with a public forum on diversity issues. Panelists included Spokane Mayor Jim West; Gary Livingston, chancellor/CEO of Community Colleges of Spokane; Fr. Robert Spitzer, President of Gonzaga University; Elaine Hoskin, Vice President of Sterling Savings Bank; Ben Cabildo, Executive Director of AHANA; and Yvonne Lopez-Morton, Media Manager at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. It was followed by a Saturday celebration at Liberty Park, featuring live music and other live performances, ethnic food stands and activities for kids. Resource tables staffed by local colleges/universities, HUD, Habitat for Humanity, housing counseling agencies, and more, provided an abundance of local program information.

Homeownership is good for communities. With HUD's Down Payment Assistance programs and other homeownership programs designed to increase the rate of homeownership among minorities, every American can achieve the dream of owning their own home.

Content Archived: August 16, 2011