Kenneth Anderson discusses cultural diversity and community

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Hunstville, Ala. (WHNT) –  Kenneth Anderson is a New York native who has lived in the Huntsville area for more than 30 years.  He has been the Multicultural Affairs Officer for the City of Huntsville for the last two years. He dropped by WHNT News 19 to give his perspective on cultural diversity and how communication is key to creating a better community in the Rocket City.

When asked what he does Kenny Anderson stated, “Think of me as an ambassador for the city on behalf of the Mayor’s office.  I work directly out of the Mayor’s office and my primary responsibility is to establish relationships throughout the community.”

The office of Multicultural Affairs was created by Mayor Tommy Battle for numerous reasons.  Anderson states that, “It’s all about representation.  I believe that everyone deserves a voice.  Everyone deserves a seat at the table.  When you have people from different experiences, different arenas, different places that they’ve been born and raised, they come to want community and want to co-exist.  They are obviously not going to agree on everything, but there will be points of commonality where we can stand on common ground.  There will also be points of disagreement.  You need people that will be able to get in there and talk with people, to create dialogue and create energy among people.  Understanding that we all have a common goal, which is a better community.”

Different cultures often have different religions.  Bringing different groups together can get difficult.  the Interfaith Mission Service of Huntsville creates opportunities for people to come together.  “There is a meeting every month, every third Tuesday of the month called One Huntsville, for example.  It takes place at the Huntsville library.  It’s open to the community.  It tries to identify different areas of faith that people are experiencing as a part of their life and then have an open dialogue, an open forum for people to come and ask questions, to hear information.” he said.

Kenny Anderson claims that “Huntsville really is a model of success that many other cites around this nation could benefit from looking at what we are doing and the kinds of pro-active engagement that we are engaged in, in order to make a difference.”

Watch the three part interview in full here: