“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is the title of a 2018 documentary film and more importantly was the guiding philosophy of Fred Rogers, host and creator of the beloved children’s TV program, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
“Won’t You By My Neighbors?” might also have served as the name for a new event held Oct. 4, 2019 that gathered Eden Prairie residents to learn about the growing number of cultures that make EP what it is today: a great place to live, work, raise a family, retire, and more.
Instead, the first-time event was called Culture ‘N Motion to reflect its format: something akin to speed dating, in which small groups or families moved from table to table in 10-minute increments to hear personal stories and observations from people representing some of these Eden Prairie cultures.
There was a Chinese table, an Indian table, a Latin/Hispanic table, a Somali table, a Native American table, and a European settler table hosted by Eden Prairie residents who helped bust stereotypes and present these cultures as fascinatingly complex and foundational to the community and nation in which we live.
The stories were fascinating, and told with pride.
The United States has often been described as a melting pot, an amalgam of people with varied backgrounds, many of which originated around the globe. Perhaps the Minnesota thing to do is to describe Eden Prairie as a metaphorical hotdish, with many disparate ingredients that come together for delicious effect.
The Foundation was a co-sponsor of the event, trying to advance its mission, which not only includes philanthropy for collaboration and leadership. We thank our partners in this first-time event held at Eden Prairie High School: the Eden Prairie Human Rights & Diversity Commission and Eden Prairie Schools Community Education. We also thank our volunteer table hosts, who brought the event to life.
We’re all neighbors in Eden Prairie. Let’s be good neighbors.