WARSAW — Around one hundred people gathered today, April 22, representing various organizations, causes and beliefs at an event held to celebrate diversity in Warsaw.
This was the fourth year for the event celebrating diversity, held at the Warsaw Central Park. The “Celebrate Diversity” event, formerly known as the Warsaw Diversity Rally, took place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The two-hour event began with individuals speaking about issues in the community. Speakers touched on topics of women’s rights, LGBT, substance abuse, PTSD, special needs and race. Each speaker implored the crowd to be aware of the issues that they felt many minorities face everyday.
April Slone spoke on strides the women’s movement has made in the last few centuries and also touched on the fact that there is still work to be done for women to be equal.
“It takes one person to change the course of history,” said Slone.
Brian Smith, Chairman of the Kosciusko County Democratic Party, talked about current legislation relating to diversity. He expressed concern with the failure of a bill banning hate crimes passing recently. He noted that there are currently 26 hate crime groups in Indiana, two for every five counties in the state, which implies a need for a hate crime bill.
Smith also expressed disproval of President Donald Trump’s attempted “Muslim ban.” He implored the crowd to keep in contact with their representatives to help make sure laws ensuring diversity are passed.
Andy Semler spoke on issues on the minds of those who identify with a gender other than the one they are born with or individuals who do not identify with the terms male or female. “There have never been only two genders,” said Semler.
Semler expressed frustration with the national discussion of bathroom polices and discrimination based upon gender.
“We will never be safe until we are real,” said Semler referring to those who do not identify with the terms male or female.
After the speakers concluded, the group participated in a sing-along lead by Marena Moonflower. The group took to the street of Warsaw with signs. They took a short walk through downtown while holding signs and occasionally stopping to chant at street corners.