A press release from Patrick Murfin:
DIVERSITY DAY FESTIVAL SET FOR THIS SUNDAY IN WOODSTOCK
WOODSTOCK–Diversity Day 2009: We’re In This Together! will be held this Sunday, September 27 from 1 to 4 PM on the Square in Woodstock.
For the 13th annual festival will take note of “The tough economic times that have taken a devastating toll on our community and nation while the world remains in turmoil,” festival Executive Director Patrick Murfin explained.
“Sometimes fear and anxiety cause groups to turn on each other and bigots seek to exploit those fears. But in times like these we need each other more than ever. Our festival is meant to rally the whole community regardless of race, religion, national origin, language, gender, sexual orientation, age or ability in mutual respect and celebration.”
The festival program will feature live entertainment and inspiring messages from individuals and organizations working together in the face of adversity.
Musical and performance acts include The Frothy Boys, a ebullient men’s doo-wop a cappella ensemble; legendary McHenry County story teller Jim May; blind singer/guitarist Pierre Berube; pianist Matt Chopin; the Bolivian folk dancing of Corazon Boliviano Grupo de Danza Folkloria director by Julieta L. Bolivar; and folk music by Keith Johnson and Judy Matzen.
Murfin will be joined by his long time festival co-host Gloria Urch in introducing featured speakers. Joe Blanco, coordinator of the Woodstock PADS site will talk about homelessness. Suzanne Hoban of the Family Health Partnership Clinic will speak on healthcare and Julie Biel-Claussen of the McHenry County Housing Authority will discuss the challenges of finding affordable housing.
An annual highlight of Diversity Day is the Peace and Justice Award presented to an individual or individuals who have advanced the causes of justice, equity and compassion in our community and the world.
This year the recipient is Thomas Dincecco who has dedicated his retirement years to service to those in need. Among other activities, Dincecco is the coordinator of the Direct Assistance Program (DAP) of the Woodstock Community Ministry which provides emergency grants to those who fall between the cracks of the safety net. The award will be presented by last year’s recipient, Sue Rose of the Housing Authority.
Carlos Acosta of the McHenry County Latino Coalition will present this year’s recipients of the organization’s Scholarship Awards, sponsored by State Farm Insurance.
The festival also includes table displays with information from non-profit organizations, social service providers, government agencies, issue advocacy organizations, religious groups, political parties, and businesses.
Diversity Day 2009: We’re In This Together! Is organized by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Woodstock. Admission is free and open to the public.
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You see Patrick Murfin standing next to Gloria Urch.