Cultural Diversity and Social Cohesion

Newton is a community of many cultures, and has great respect for cultural diversity and social cohesion. Still, factions exist, said participants in The ReNewton Project forums, and a lack of communication between groups is holding back true cohesion in the community.

By the year 2014, it is predicted that nearly 20 percent of the Newton-North Newton community will be Hispanic or Latino.

Collaborating and Celebrating

To further efforts to create a sense of belonging, the plan encourages the City to establish a collaborative leadership council to work on issues of communication, awareness, and inclusiveness between groups.

The community should also continue to celebrate its rich and varied history and heritage through events that recognize various cultures and faiths, and how the community was founded through contributions of many different ethnic and religious groups.

Insights

“There are so many different types of people who make up Newton, and they each bring something unique to this community that has given it a great flavor. It has made us a caring, nurturing community. What other community do you see that has the amount of social service organizations that provide support for the mentally ill, developmentally disabled, and embraces those folks within the community? Education is strong, the fine arts are strong, and I think that's part of a result of bringing those rich cultures to this community.”
— Carol Sue Stayrook Hobbs, USD 373 school board member

“As the community becomes more diverse, it becomes even more important that all people feel welcome and part of the social and community fabric. This strengthens the community in cultural richness.”
— Tom Phillips, project consultant

“Being diverse and offering a progressive attitude is very beneficial, I think, to those who are seeking another place to locate.”
— Dan Heinze, Heinze Insurance