LYNNFIELD — The Town Common was the place to be Sunday as residents turned out to celebrate diversity at Lynnfield for Love’s 6th annual Race Amity Day.
The event featured plenty of family-friendly activities for people of all ages and a central message about the importance of multicultural and multi-racial engagement.
“Lynnfield celebrates Race Amity Day every second Sunday in June to acknowledge and celebrate the richness in friendships across races and cultures, as the beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people,” said Jessica Tortola, president of Lynnfield for Love.
The festivities included performances by the Lynnfield Middle School’s Pioneer Singers (under the direction of Middle School Music Director Stephen Bloom). Featured selections included a variety of music from all over the world, including India, Greece, Ireland, Turkey, Mexico, Italy, Brazil, Africa and, of course, the United States.
Other events and activities included a reading of the Proclamation of Race Amity Day by students from the Huckleberry Hill and Summer Street elementary schools. The day also featured the library’s browsing tent, a scavenger hunt, crafts, painting, and lawn games. Loving Day 2022 (celebrated on Sunday, June 12) was also acknowledged, which Tortola said marks the 55th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned all bans on interracial marriage.
Handouts included information about Race Amity Day and a listing of the many languages spoken by Lynnfield’s residents.
“It’s amazing how many languages are spoken here and just this year there were at least seven more added to the list,” Tortola said. “It’s so cool and amazing that even within countries like India, there are so many different languages spoken. It’s amazing to see all the different languages spoken in Lynnfield, this tiny little town that is so rich in the cultures and languages we have here.”
Lynnfield School Committee member Phil McQueen attended the event with his family.
“I want to commend the Pioneer singers on a fantastic performance and also Lynnfield for Love for organizing this event,” said McQueen. “We need more events like this. They bring people together. It’s a great family day and is sending a great message.”
Invited guest and House Minority Leader Rep. Bradley Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) said events like this promote awareness of the importance of people finding common ground even when they disagree.
“Oftentimes youth activities are the best ways of breaking down barriers so people can come together and find a point of commonality, be it cultural or other areas of life where people can find common ground so that even when they disagree, they can nonetheless find a way to work together respectfully. We need to find ways to do that more often. Just because you may disagree on a particular topic, we still need to be able to continue the dialogue.”
Tortola said the National Center for Race Amity’s logo is America’s motto of E Pluribus Unum.
“Out of many, one, that’s really what we are all about,” she said. “It’s about coming together and it gives us hope that we can accomplish anything coming together as one, utilizing each other’s strengths to move forward as one diverse people. We celebrate that hope on Race Amity Day, a day when we can come out together and celebrate friendships.”
Anne Marie Tobin can be reached at [email protected].
Allysha Dunnigan can be reached at [email protected].