When moving or visiting a new place, you are bound to learn something new and gain a new perspective. I have been in Juneau for four months now and I have gained many new perspectives from a change in scenery. Join me on this 4-Part Series, New Place New Perspective.
Perspective #1- Diversity is Awesome!
This should be a no-brainer, especially since I grew up in Southern California. This has not always been my perspective. Growing up in Southern California, I was surrounded by diversity. During my early childhood, I grew up in the Dream Homes in Cathedral City, California.
The Dream Homes was once a new housing addition with roads that were in a circular pattern. When this addition was new, my Grandparents invested in two homes believing it would be a good investment. For awhile it was.
Since the homes were very affordable, diversity starting moving in. The neighborhood was soon populated with many Hispanic and Black families in the neighborhood. I remember my best friend name was Maria and her home was where I first tasted Menudo. Our neighbors who where black and my family was extremely close with them, spending many evenings with them under their carport enjoying each others company.
Negative Perspective Change
My thoughts of diversity changed when I was a teenager. The high school I attended was very diverse, but the ethnic groups were divided. There was the Hispanics, Blacks, Samoans and the Whites. There was definite racial tension in our school. Due to this tension I had many negative racial experiences which tainted my view.
Then when I was twenty-five, I moved to Norman Oklahoma. At that time, there was not much diversity in this small college town. See Norman Oklahoma was once a Sundown Town. A Sundown Town is an All White Town that Blacks had to leave before sundown or there were consequences. It was not until three years after the Civil Rights Act passed, that the first Black family moved in.
30 years later, there was not a lot of diversity and still a lot of prejudice. Living in this environment is bound to rub off on you. This is why my Grandmother always told me “to be careful who I surrounded myself with they may just rub off on you!”
For the first 10 years, it skewed my view of diversity. Then something started to change. Norman became more diverse and the world became more tolerant and so did I.
Fast forward 10 years and one of the reasons I decided Juneau Alaska would be a good fit for my family, was the diversity of this Capital City. After 4 months of living here, I do believe moving to this diverse City was a good choice and is shaping and changing my perspective for the better.