The Unity & Diversity Committee welcomed Rory Steyn, former bodyguard to South African President Nelson Mandela. He served as team leader of President Mandela’s personal protection team, which entailed the protection of the President both nationally and internationally. Rory addressed members via a video conference meeting to kick off Global Diversity Awareness Month and discussed topics related to racial reconciliation. Watch the discussion in the video below.
Monthly meetings are held at noon, the first Monday of each month in the Longview Public Library, 222 W. Cotton St. No meeting will be held in June 2021. The July and September 2021 meetings will take place on the second Monday of the month due to holidays.
Partners in Prevention created the Race Relations Committee in 1995 as a way to address racial prejudices, to create a platform for open and honest dialogue; and to develop racial harmony in the community. Since that time, community citizens have been on a journey of growth and change to create fair treatment for all members of society.
In 2012, the Race Relations Committee created a strategic plan and thus emerged with a new name, "Unity and Diversity Committee", along with a new mission statement. The mission statement reads: "Unity and Diversity Committee seeks to overcome barriers to the full inclusion of all community members by: Protecting Human Rights, Challenging Discrimination and Celebrating Diversity."
The Committee annually hosts the Unity Honors Luncheon and in 2014 began providing the "Diversity in America Stage" at the City of Longview Firework and Freedom Celebration. They also periodically host the World Cafe to provide community members a platform to discuss sensitive topics in an open, honest, and safe environment.