Roots and Wings: The Differences that Unite

Charles Fleisher recently attended a meeting hosted by the Center Players and kindly wrote about it for our blog. Here it is:

The first program of The Greater Monmouth County Chamber Of Commerce Diversity Committee was a hit! I’ll admit, that I’m blessed with good timing. This was my first visit to any Chamber of Commerce meeting and I picked a good one. The event was held at Center Playhouse, home of Center Players, in downtown Freehold and sponsored by local businesses including Sam’s Club of Freehold, Anima E Core, Fred and Murray’s Deli and the Manalapan Diner. The location was perfect and the event was sold out. Several individuals got up on stage and shared their stories of how their families came to the United States. It offered the opportunity for individuals throughout the community to come out and meet their neighbors, share delicious ethnic foods, and find out about their different backgrounds, and share their experiences and cultures.

The program included musicians and dancers from diverse backgrounds in South America. It also included local veteran and war hero, Ray Dothard, who was only three generations removed from slavery. We got to hear stories of families who were devastated by the Holocaust and others who evaded capture from the Nazis during World War II.

One of the most powerful parts of the program centered on understanding that we are all descendants of immigrants, whether it be many generations ago, two or three back or as recent as this past year. The program focused on finding and exploiting our common interest in business, family and community. It’s easy to focus on differences, but communities become stronger when we focus on what brings us together.

It was a great program, and I encourage anyone to search out their local Chamber of Commerce, and get involved.


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