Building Unity in Community
Nearly a million residents call Prince George's County our beautiful home. What makes us beautiful is our rich diversity and history of perseverance. From the International Corridor located in the Northern Gateway to Route 1 in the Gateway Arts District, we are a mosaic of cultures in District 2. To counter the divisive rhetoric heard nationally, we must come together and unite as one. We must not allow others to divide us based on our race, nationality, gender, or religious affiliation. Our ability to live, work, and befriend those who may be different from us is what make us a strong, resourceful, and vibrant community. As Dr. Martin Luther King stated, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
As a resident and County Council Member in Prince George's County, I’m dedicated to building bridges that bring us together. I thank all those who have joined me in this call for unity for us to come together and join as one community building stronger, together. We unite because we find something in common with our neighbors and we can see a little part of ourselves in our neighbors' dreams, histories, and struggles. This page is dedicated to the projects that will help us learn and understand more about each other. I hope you can join us in our endeavor to build unity in our community!
Gateways Migration Project
The Gateways Migration Project aims to give all residents a platform to share their migration story with the greater community by asking one question: How did you get to where you are today? Residents are encouraged to share their migration story of how they came to be in the location they are today and the historical roots of their current place in society.
All stories are unique but each story told helps create avenues to connect with others. Stories encompass connections, collaborations, and emotions that have the ability to transcend generations. Stories serve as the vehicle that allow people to communicate, overcome differences, and better understand our personal and collective identities.
By engaging in our stories, we become participants in the narrative. Through storytelling we can experience self-discovery and positive growth. Want to join the movement? Take the Migration Challenge, upload to our Facebook page, and we will share your story with others.
Listen to the Prince George's County Council Members share their stories:
The African Diaspora: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century Economy
A Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. celebration and forum on jobs, education, business, and family for scholars, activists, students, community members, and elected officials to discuss how to better understand and address the issues facing the African-American community in Prince George's County and our diverse communities across the nation.
Check out our weekly updates: https://tinyurl.com/yagqswad
The Latino Diaspora and Great Central American Migration
In Prince George’s County, one-in-five residents (21%) are foreign-born and one-in-five residents (22%) speak a language other than English in their home. Over 75,000 residents are estimated to be unauthorized immigrants, primarily from El Salvador and Guatemala. Most unauthorized immigrants have been in the county for more than 5 years and one-in-four have at least one U.S-born child. Given the critical contributions that immigrant and Latino residents make as parents, workers, and tax-payers in the region, it is important that we better understand how we can best ensure their rights are protected in the current national climate of fear.
Unfortunately, many do not know the history of the Great Central American migration. Due to trauma often experienced by refugees, many children of recent immigrants do not know their own family history. With the changes in sending countries and contexts of 21st century immigration, scholars and students are beginning to pioneer new methods and content in the contemporary research of migration. The goal of this conference was to help us better understand how to respond to new challenges faced by prior and current generations of migrants and people of color in the U.S. and to help build community capacity among all communities.
Missed the event? Check out the in panel discussions: https://tinyurl.com/y9j6vuwg
For the past two years, Council Member Taveras has partnered with the Takoma-Langley Crossroads to celebrate Diwali Festival. This family-friendly free event is a celebration of festival of lights and offered a unique cultural experience with Indian performances, food, vendors, and more.
There were a variety of cultural performances with Classical, Folk, and Bollywood Dance, plus children's storyteller, Meena Nakak, sharing Indian myths.
The annual festival creates a space for residents from both Prince George's County and Montgomery County to learn more about their neighbors and build relationships across county boundaries.
To check out event updates,click here.
2017 Event Highlights:
- Ganesh Band: Bollywood-style music was performed by Ganesh Jagtap and other musicians on traditional instruments with vocalists Kshama Garg and Himanshu Chaudhari.
- Raag Rang: Ta Thoi Musicians Debu Nayak (tabla, below), Soumya Chakraverty (sarod), Arindam Ghosh, Swati Kanitkar, Surendra Rajak, Nabeel Reaz, and Parmoa Sanyal performed as Raag Rang: Ta Thoi, with vocal performances, narration and dance that depicted the Diwali theme. The performance was based on Diwali, drawing from Indian mythology depicted through Indian classical dance and a medley of Indian classical and folk music.
- Storyteller Meena Nayak told myth tales to children of all ages. Dr. Nayak teaches English and Mythology at Northern Virginia Community College and is the author of many children’s books, including About Daddy and Endless Rain.