This event is tonight. Any of us who live in the District of Columbia, knows first hand about experiences (the good and the bad ones) we face in regards of the cultural differences found within the DC population. Rather you are a Washingtonian native or an immigrant -from other American states or other countries- this open discussion should be very interesting and revealing for us to understand how these differences make this city a very livable urban center, and also a place for social conflicts due to lack of knowledge and even racial stereotypes.
Indigenous children from Central America at a rally in Washington, DC. Photo Carlos A. Quiroz
Stop by Busboys and Poets' Langston Room (14th St. NW & V St. NW) at 6:00 pm. and learn how others think about the topic: “Immigrants and Native Washingtonians: When Cultures Collide”, the third of five Who's a Washingtonian? series events in 2008, presented by the Humanities Council’s Young Professionals Group.
- "Whenever there is a high influx of new immigrants, there tends to be a certain disgruntlement among native residents. This is largely due to a sometimes swift demographic change with "natives" clamoring for territorial rights in their respective communities.
New immigrants are often perplexed by this sentiment; they believe in the "American Dream," and tend to work hard to partake in that dream. These cultural barriers breed ignorance, which at times leads to resentment and hostility.
The Humanities Council’s Young Professionals Group invites participants to discuss reasons for this trend by using "The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears" by Dinaw Mengestu [read NY Times review here] to evoke discussion. This book chronicles, over an eight month period, the growing racial tension between an Ethiopian grocery store owner and native Washingtonians in his community. We will also welcome special guest, African storyteller Auntie Oye [read a WP article on Oye's fascinating work in DC schools here.]
Who's a Washingtonian? is a bi-monthly, salon-style discussion that follows the Civic Reflection model. Our overall goal is to evoke discussions that are positive, emotional and thought-provoking. These discussions are a tool in working toward improving the quality of life in our own neighborhoods while bringing diverse communities closer to one another.
Tasty refreshments will be served! Please RSVP for this event at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (202) 387-8391.
Immigrants and Native Washingtonians: When Cultures Collide
Who's a Washingtonian? series
Tuesday July 22
Busboys and Poets
2021 14th St NW (corner with V street NW)
Washington, DC 20009