The LMAC steering committee invites all community members to get involved. (photo courtesy city of Longmont)

Event features cultural song and dance performances, and ethnic food from Iran, Mexico, Puerto Rico, China and other nations

By Lisa Truesdale

In his 1970 memoir, penned when he was in his 90s, Spanish cellist and composer Pablo Casals wrote, “The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?”

Inclusive Communities is Sept. 21, 6-9 p.m.
at the Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Road, and
admission is free. www.longmontcolorado.gov.

It’s exactly that type of inclusivity and diversity that the city of Longmont has always worked to promote through the Longmont Multicultural Action Committee (LMAC), formed 15 years ago, in 2003. LMAC’s main goal is “to create a community where everyone belongs” by sponsoring culturally inclusive gatherings, promoting civic engagement by residents, and building relationships among community members from different cultures.

“It has been amazing to help bring segments of our community together so that they can share their cultures,” says Carmen Ramirez, the city’s community and neighborhood resources manager and a member of LMAC’s steering committee. “The beauty of highlighting our diversity and cultural assets is that it has publicly shown the importance and value of inclusion.”

LMAC co-sponsors a number of events each year with other local cultural organizations, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event in January and the Chinese New Year gathering in February. LMAC also hosts the annual Inclusive Communities Celebration, being held this year on Sept. 21. A number of organizations gather to present cultural song and dance performances, and ethnic food from Iran, Mexico, Puerto Rico, China and other nations. This year’s event includes a special “passport” program—as families “travel” to each country, they earn a stamp in their keepsake book.

Ramirez encourages everyone to attend the Inclusive Communities Celebration and also to find out more about getting involved with LMAC.

“In order to continue this important work and leave a legacy, we need to continue to involve new community members,” she says. “Then we can pass on this gift to future generations.”