(Note: Read this press release to find out which community won the Region 1 CEA honor. View photos from this event on flickr)
EASTPOINTE, Michigan - With more than 40 percent of its population born outside the United States, the City of Hamtramck, Michigan, has a very diverse community. With this diversity brings some challenges, but also tremendous opportunity and a positive outlook for the future.
This was the message of Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski during a Michigan Municipal League education seminar Wednesday, May 5, 2010, in Eastpointe, Michigan. The seminar was the first of seven regional meetings the League is having throughout the state this month and next. The meetings will each focus on one of the eight assets identified by the League as making viable communities. The focus of Wednesday’s event was multiculturalism and nearly 40 officials from southeast Michigan attended. It was fitting that the seminar also took place on May 5 – Cinco de Mayo.
"In my one block where I live, we have Bosnians, Polish, Polish Americans, Bangladeshi, African Americans, Ukrainian Americans, and non-differentiated Americans on that one small block," Majewski said. "When you live in a community like this there are many advantages, especially to the children. It also takes us closer to the kind of world we all want to live in and the kind we all eventually will be living in. It's not always easy and fun and it can be a challenge, but it really is a joy. Hamtramck welcomes everyone. The face of Hamtramck is the face of a new kind of America and a kind of America that is closer to all our ideals."
Majewski talked about the many different festivals, unique businesses and restaurants that are in Hamtramck, due in part, to having such a diverse community. Joining Majewski in the multiculturalism discussion was Chandra McMillion, facilitator of the Advocates and Leaders for Police and Community Trust and president of the McMillion Group.
McMillion talked about a venture by police departments in southeast Michigan to work together to break-down ethnic barriers. It was a great discussion and really opened eyes about some of the exciting things happening in our communities. Other topics discussed at the meeting were a presentation by Norma Rivas Ricci about the 2010 U.S. Census; a talk by the League’s Chris Hackbarth about what’s happening in Lansing involving the League’s legislative team; an introduction to the League’s Center for 21st Century Communities program by the League’s Colleen Layton; information about the environmentally friendly programs by the League’s Sue Jeffers; and a report on the Let’s Save Michigan campaign by Sean Mann.
Southeast Michigan communities represented at the meeting were the cities of Berkley, Center Line, Dearborn, Eastpointe, Garden City, Grosse Pointe Woods, Hamtramck, Howell, Huntington Woods, Inkster, Madison Heights, Monroe, Mount Clemens, New Baltimore, Plymouth, Roseville, Southfield, Sterling Heights, Troy, Utica, Wayne and Utica.
The next regional meeting is May 12-14 in Ispheming. Learn about the other upcoming regional meetings here.
Matt Bach is director communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at email@example.com or (734) 669-6317.
In this photo Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski (right) and Chandra McMillion talk about multiculturalism. (Read this press release to find out which community won the Region 1 CEA honor. View photos from this event on flickr)