PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: Should SCNA board be more diverse? If so, how?

The SCNA board, and by extension the Sierra 2 Center and SCNA’s programs, would benefit from increased diversity because working among people with personal, cultural, ethnic, and experiential differences leads to rich, enlightening, exciting, rewarding, educational conversations, programs and solutions.

Our lenses are just that — ours. The world is an incredibly rich and diverse place, and we know — inherently as Americans — that diversity is at the core of our nationhood and has resulted in our greatest achievements. We also know from history and personal experiences that the more divisive and separate we are, the more negative we become, the more we fail, and the more we have to be ashamed of.

So, yes, I believe without hesitation that in our tiny slice of the universe, if the SCNA board and the programs and services we offer can become more diverse, the better, stronger and more successful we shall be.

How do we go about encouraging people who are different, people we may not know, to join our efforts? We must ask. This is hard. It’s not simply a matter of asking our neighborhood friends to join the board (although we must do that, too). We also must ask neighbors we don’t know. On my street (28th Street between Broadway and Second Avenue), I don’t know many of my neighbors well, but it is clear from walking the neighborhood that I have neighbors who are young and others who are senior citizens. At a minimum, I am aware that I have Caucasian, African American and Asian neighbors. On my street there are homeowners and renters, some folks with higher incomes and many with lower incomes.

I love my street for its diversity. And I believe all of these differences, all of our lives’ experiences, make us richer and make my street exemplary.

My first challenge, as both SCNA board president, and to you as my neighbor, is to seek out someone I/ you do not know and try to get to know them. I/you should seek out someone clearly different from me/you and ask them if they have any interest in serving on our neighborhood’s board of directors. When they tell me/you they’re not familiar with the association, I/you have our first topic of conversation with our new friend.

If you have questions for the SCNA board or would like to address me directly, please submit your questions and comments to [email protected].

I look forward to this year of service and to increasing diversity within and throughout the work of SCNA.

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