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Susan Burns

Diversity Matters

This is the third year Biz(941) and La Guia magazines have scanned our communities to discover and honor champions of diversity. Why? Certainly there are moral reasons and historical national values that provide a rationale, but there are also practical reasons. The racial composition of our nation is changing. The latest census numbers predict that, by 2043, whites will no longer be the majority in the country. In Sarasota and Manatee, between 2000 and 2010, the white population has grown much more slowly than Asian, Hispanic and African-American groups.

The importance of the minority vote could not have been clearer in the last election. President Obama won the large majority of nonwhites. Our cities and suburbs, our schools and workplaces—our communities—are going through another American transformation, and the people who recognize this and embrace these cultural shifts build the bridges that ultimately make our communities and workplaces stronger and more productive.

Our Unity Award winners are those people. From helping minority teens reach college dreams they never knew were possible to building community centers for underprivileged youth to ensuring that all women have access to prenatal and maternal care, they’ve stepped up with the understanding that bringing everyone into the fold benefits us all.

Please join us on Jan. 22 at 11:30 a.m. at Michael’s On East as we honor our winners at a special luncheon. Go to unityawards.eventbrite.com.

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