Diversity Forum Postponed Due to Lack of Funds - Southern Maryland Headline News

Diversity Forum Postponed Due to Lack of Funds

Officials are planning an alternate event in the warmer months

LA PLATA, Md. (Jan. 29, 2009)—The Charles County “Unity in OUR Community” Diversity Forum scheduled for Saturday, February 28, 2009, at the College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata Campus has been postponed until further notice. The forum was conceived by government and community leaders to promote discussions about racial tensions in the county. This would have been the third year for the event.

Officials say the postponement of the Feb. 28th forum is due, in part, to insufficient funding received via sponsorships from local businesses, organizations, and individuals. Funds already received for the event will be refunded.

Persons already registered for the Diversity Forum will be notified directly with details on the upcoming alternative event.

In lieu of the Feb. 28th forum, an outdoor event is in the planning stages and is tentatively scheduled for late spring or early summer. The Charles County Commissioners, Blue Ribbon Commission for Diversity and Intergroup Relations, College of Southern Maryland, and partnering organizations are planning the alternative event that will involve community service opportunities. The outdoor event will provide the public with an opportunity to learn about local service agencies and opportunities to volunteer with the organization or charity of their choice.

Family-friendly entertainment and presentations representing diverse cultures and backgrounds will also be a highlight of the event.

“An outdoor venue will allow even more Charles County residents to participate,” said Commissioner President Wayne Cooper. “And the ‘neighbors helping neighbors’ theme is in line with our shared vision on how we can promote a better understanding of the importance of diversity and intergroup relations in Charles County.”

“We know that the community is 100 percent behind this effort. But we are sensitive to the difficult economic times we’re facing, and we understand that everyone is not able to give as much as they would like right now.” said Commissioner Vice President Edith J. Patterson. “Because we still believe in the purpose behind the diversity forum, we are taking the opportunity to refocus our efforts in a new direction.”

“I want to give a special thank you to Chick-fil-A, the exclusive lunch sponsor of the diversity forum for the third year in a row. Although other expenses remained unfunded by sponsorship dollars this year, Ken Weikel of Chick-fil-A understands that this is a community-partner event, and his unwavering support has been invaluable.” said Commissioner Samuel N. Graves, Jr.

To get involved in planning the alternative event or for more information, contact 301-645-0580.

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