The Berkeley Heights Diversity Committee would like to join with the Mayor, Town Council, and Chief of Police in affirming our shared vision for Berkeley Heights as “a caring community with a proud heritage that welcomes everyone” with “a collective vision of an inclusive community,” and we affirm that “we are a diverse community with respect for all of our citizens.”
While we appreciate the public apology made regarding the display of “blackface” at a recent community event, we believe that it highlights our community’s need for more intentional, focused and thoughtful education and dialogue around race. The author of that apology stated that he was unaware of the consequences of his actions or that it was offensive, as the Berkeley Heights Diversity Committee, we believe that his statement highlights our community’s need for education, open, honest and supportive dialogue and wider participation and support from our institutions, elected officials and citizens.
We encourage the Mayor, Town Council and Chief of Police to continue their strong message of respect, inclusion and care. We also request the public to continue to support the work of the Diversity committee in sharing our rich cultural heritage in Berkeley Heights. To demonstrate this commitment we’d like to request that the Mayor, Town Council, Chief of Police and all citizens who stand behind this pledge attend our upcoming Diwali event at the Berkeley Heights YMCA this coming Sunday Afternoon (November 4th from 2:30-4:30) and support the establishment of and broad-based participation in the Race Dialogue Circles offered by the Summit Interfaith Council. We encourage the leadership of our community to support and even co-sponsor future events embracing diversity as a strength in our community. For more information about the Berkeley Heights Diversity Committee, please visit us at https://www.facebook.com/Berkeley-Heights-Diversity-Committee-1017690804943911/