Diversity makes great cities



With Black History Month celebrations set to take place across the nation, and an African-American emerging as a front-runner for the White House, count Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman among the many advocates of the month-long cultural celebration.

Many organizations across the city including the Bremerton chapter of the NAACP, the Black Historical Society Museum on Park Avenue, Emmanuel Apostolic Church, the Bremerton African-American Ministers Association and others will have events throughout the month to commemorate the contributions of blacks not only on the national level, but the local scene as well.

“It’s very important, and it’s part of what makes a great city,” Bozeman said.

Bremerton significant Japanese-American, Filipino, Hispanic and African-American communities, all contribute to making Bremerton a great place to live, he said.

“If you’re going to be an urban city, you have to have diversity,” he said.

That diversity should become more prominent as the city’s burgeoning arts district begins to take hold and more and more cultural celebrations are held throughout the year, he said.

“It’s part of what makes Bremerton a great place to live,” Bozeman said of the city’s diversity, which is greater than most other cities in Kitsap County.

The Bremerton School District is one the front lines of keeping diversity alive in the city and the district’s efforts are an instrumental part of making Bremerton a vibrant city, he said.

“The school district is preparing students to live in the real world,” he said.

Instead of shying away from diversity and becoming enthnocentric community, it is important for the city and its leaders to embrace its many cultures, he said.

“We are very proud of our diversity,” Bozeman said.

Among the planned Black History Month celebrations are an appearance by nationally recognized Gospel singer Beau Williams on Feb. 10 at Emmanuel Apostolic Church and Salad Bowl Sunday on Feb. 24 at Crossroads Neighborhood Church, which is a celebration that brings all of the county’s cultures together for an evening of fun, food and understanding.

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