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Final Week 9 Cultural Diversity

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FINAL Cultural Diversity Week 9 Final Currently I live in a community of approximately 21,785 people according to the 2010 US Census. Herriman, which is about 20 miles southwest of Salt Lake City has grown by leaps and bounds over the last twelve years. Herriman was founded as a farming community in 1849 and was incorporated in 1999. Herriman still feels like a small town, an idea which is held onto by its community leaders and population. I noticed while in researching the varying statistics for my city that I look like about 90% of the population.

At 38, I am a little bit older than the average age of 27, but I am Caucasian, as are the majority of the residents. I noted with interest, during our last mayoral race, the current mayor spent the time to go out and knock on doors introducing himself to everyone.

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He made a significant impact on me as he stood and visited with my family and seemed to have the same values and ideals that I do. I cannot say that I have noticed a large difference in how minorities are treated by members of my community.

In fact, in my local neighborhood we have a few families of varying ethnicities which have been welcomed and encouraged to teach about their homelands. It has been fascinating to watch and learn about the cultures from which they came and even to try some of the more traditional foods. The text and manuals that we have covered throughout class have covered the varying people that I am like. Caucasians have been notable throughout history and their information is fairly well published.

I also noted that coming from an Irish background through several lines, the Irish were well represented. I did note a lack of other European descendants being listed through the text; I have a very strong relation to the Danish culture and did not find any information in regards to that culture in our texts at all. The local media looks much like the state, which is to say white, with a few people of color thrown in. It shouldn’t be made light of; it just feels that after everything has been so serious in discussion that lightening up the conversation cannot hurt.

I have noticed as I have gotten older that we have gained a larger population of various minorities and they have begun to change the way that we see things as well as the way that we are being represented. I feel that this is a great step forward. I have noticed the biggest difference between me and most of the people in local leadership is that they are male while I am female. There is a definite lack of female leadership in our government here. Within the last ten years female leadership has increased, yet still has not changed dramatically.

I have noticed that more women are running for various offices throughout the state and feel confident that this will change the local governments as well. As our minority population has grown, there have also been changes in the state government in regards to representation becoming more diverse. I feel this helps represent their interests in the community, and again feel that as people move and spread out in the local communities this will affect the local governments as well.

While I do not feel that I can do a lot to change various inequities, I feel that by volunteering my time to the youth in my area I will help set them up into be more able to make changes in the future. It appears that in speaking with friends they note the same various situations that I have mentioned. Yet, because I live in a neighborhood where the majority of people are married and the wives are homemakers, I do bring a different perspective into conversations.

Speaking with a local neighbor and friend, who was a former elementary school teacher, she noted that she feels that our culture is fairly self-contained due to our religious affiliations and yet she is one of the most outgoing individuals that I have met. She indicated that there is a trend to assume that people are just like you and not take the time to get to know anyone else. I have noted her on long walks through the neighborhood stopping to talk to anyone that happened to be outside and visit.

Something that we both agreed on was the way that the community is very friendly and welcoming to people. It really starts with the neighborhood and then extends out into our city. A prime example of this was the “UP” house that a local builder wanted to build. He wanted to build a home that was a replica of the home in Disney’s “UP”. After contacting Disney and going through varying channels, Disney agreed to the home as long as they were allowed certain stipulations, he went looking for a community to build the home.

He had contacted several cities, and Herriman agreed to allow him to build the home. The neighborhood had a HOA which agreed, despite it being colors not normally permitted, and a style different from the area, they would permit him to build and allow it into the HOA coding. However, the builder’s stipulation was that, when sold, the new homeowners had to agree to keep the colors. The home was built and each and every detail was matched to the specifications of the Disney standard, they went so far as to design the interior with the same furniture, which had to be created to replicate it.

Herriman and the community welcomed this builder in during the annual “Parade of Homes” in order to make them feel more comfortable. Finally, the home was sold to a couple that wanted to move back to Utah after several years in California and the home remains the pastel coloring of the Disney design. Herriman leaders felt that having the home built in Herriman was an economic boost they were unable to turn down, and afterwards gave an honor to Bangerter Homes in recognition of such. This type of innovative government thinking is definitely in line with how any community I live in should function.

I want my community leaders to always be looking at the next best source to bring economic development closer to home. Not only does this benefit the city, but it benefits me because the city has more to offer. Growing up, I lived in a more diverse area of the Salt Lake Valley and was exposed to varying cultures and ethnicities which helped me gain a firm understanding of treating people with respect, and with dealing with varying races. However, the governments there were more old fashioned and less adaptable to today’s changing environment’s.

I feel as if this community was actually less welcoming than the one that I am currently in because of this. The prior community may have had a more diverse community, but welcoming new and local businesses was not something that the government chose to promote. Living in Herriman, I have noticed that many of the government officials as well as other leaders are active in getting out and being a part of the community and ensuring that we are aware as citizens of anything that might affect us; from the opening of a new restaurant, to a fire that is burning out of control.

Herriman city officials have a local Facebook account and Twitter feeds that are used to help notify their citizens on a regular basis of varying volunteer activities, emergencies, CPR training classes and more. It is another way that the community in which I live is actively trying to encourage its citizens to be part of it; this reflects my views on how a community should interact. I believe that in being part of a community, you want to be involved; you want to support local business and taking advantage of times that you can volunteer to help. For instance, going out to reseed a mountain after a grass fire helps build community relations.

I enjoy living where I do and feel that I have found a mostly perfect fit for my family. People take care of their yards, their homes, they are active and want to do things to improve not only themselves, but the community in which we live. All of these are ideals that coincide with how I feel a community should be. References: http://www. city-data. com/city/Herriman-Utah. html#top www. herrimancity. org http://www. sltrib. com/sltrib/news/53012557-78/hamblin-lynette-disney-herriman. html. csp http://www. facebook. com/HerrimanCity http://twitter. com/BeReadyHerriman

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