By Jarred Meeks
Whitestown officials plan to celebrate the town’s diversity July 20 with its inaugural Diversity Day.
The Whitestown Human Relations Commission is conducting the event, which will run concurrently with the Whitestown Farmer’s Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the south parking lot of the Whitestown Municipal Complex.
HRC member Melody Berg stated in a press release that the town wants to continue its “overall mission of being a community that is accepting of all individuals from a variety of backgrounds and beliefs.”
During the event, the town plan to showcase organizations that serve and support residents of various racial and ethnic backgrounds, genders and more to address questions about heritage and culture, Whitestown Event Coordinator Sarah Burns said.
“We wanted to do an event to show how we are all similar because we all have differences, and we are celebrating those differences,” Burns said.
Participating organizations include ACLU Indiana, Indianapolis Urban League, Japan-American Society of Indiana, Sunshine Social Club, Special Olympics of Boone County, Indiana Pride of Color and GenderNexus, among other groups. Other organizations, groups and individuals are encouraged to participate.
Whitestown Director of Public Relations Tanya Sumner said town officials obtained data showing the town’s growing diversity, particularly among Asian Americans, following a 2016 special census conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The census showed the town’s population more than doubled from the 2010 census from 2,867 residents to 7,814 residents.
The census found the number of caucasian households in Whitestown dropped to 83.8 percent, which is below the state average of 85.8 percent.
“We used to be small-town America and not have a lot of diversity, like so many other small towns in Indiana,” Sumner said. “We were really proud of the fact that changes were being shown with the census numbers, so we wanted to celebrate that.”