Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez Hosts "Strength Through Diversity" Forum with Civil Rights Hero -- Congressman John Lewis

August 12, 2004
Press Release
LYNWOOD, CALIF. - U.S. Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (CA-39) hosted a diversity forum today at the Lynwood High School Performing Arts center in Lynwood, California. The purpose of the event was to provide an open, town hall environment in which the community could discuss diversity and the challenges and opportunities that it presents. Creating unity out of diversity was a theme of the evening.

“Let’s face it, no matter what the color of your skin, or where your family is originally from, we all want many of the same things in life. We want to live in safe neighborhoods; we want to have good, secure jobs; and, most of all, we want good schools for our children so they have increased opportunities for success in life. All of the similarities that we share should unify diverse cities,” said Congresswoman Sánchez.

More than 200 people attended the forum to participate in the public policy discussion. Joining Congresswoman Sánchez was legendary hero of the Civil Rights Movement, U.S. Congressman John Lewis.

“John Lewis risked his life during the Civil Rights Movement to promote equality, including leading the famous march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where Alabama state troopers attacked non-violent marchers. This event was pivotal in persuading the U.S. Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” said Sánchez in her introduction of Congressman Lewis.

The multi-cultural discussion focused on harnessing the power of the diverse community for the greater common good, and bringing together community leaders, residents, and organizations serving the greater Lynwood community including Watts and Willowbrook.

Congresswoman Sánchez also spoke to the crowd about the Community Relations Service (CRS). The CRS was formed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and specializes in leading mediation efforts to intervene in community conflicts based on race or national origin.

“Far from being a weakness, diversity is one of our region’s greatest strengths. It enhances our economy, increases the quality of education our children receive, and strengthens our unique, local culture,” Sánchez