Since its founding, our community’s economic engine has been the meat industry. Relatively high paying/low skill jobs have drawn immigrants from Latvia, Poland, Germany, Ireland, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Ethiopia, Somalia, and other countries, making for a richly diverse landscape. Yet, one might not know it, given a look at our commercial media outlets and the dominance of “traditional midwestern” restaurants and businesses.
The lack of a platform for minority voices is not only glaring, it’s harmful. It diminishes the contributions people make every day to our economy, prevents collaboration and the sharing of ideas, allows for uninformed prejudices to thrive, and prevents us from achieving a future where our individual capacities are fully appreciated or used. This event was a big first step toward a better future. It provided awareness, allowed for connection, and celebrated our community’s true story.