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Race and Your Community

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Essay title: Race and Your Community

Race and Your Community

“The community used to be farmland as far as the eye could see. Today, there are many people and the community is becoming more diverse every day. We are seeing more Hispanic Americans every day.” (Chaudion, 2007). Noblesville, IN is a suburb of Indianapolis, IN and is experiencing significant growth and expansion. A city of over 40,000 people, Noblesville is currently one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Located in Hamilton County, one of the fastest-growing counties in the country, Noblesville is poised for even greater growth and expansion in the next 10-20 years due to construction projects that will allow more commercial traffic to and through the city. In addition to the construction that is ongoing, Noblesville has seeing a boom in housing and new residents since 1990. Many corporations are relocating and building new facilities in Noblesville because of its ideal location near I-69, as well as Indianapolis which serves as a hub for the entire Midwest. With this growth come new challenges, new ideas and new people. With these new people come new cultures. During the 1990’s, Hamilton County and Noblesville experienced an influx of Hispanic Americans during the 1990’s that still continues to this day. The Hispanic influx has triggered a response from the community, who is predominantly wealthy and white. The community has chosen to embrace the diversity it has been challenged with, rather than turn away from it, and has welcomed the people, the culture and the diversity. Located in one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States, Noblesville, Indiana is a community that is beginning to see a wide range of economic and cultural diversity, particularly with an influx of Hispanic immigrants and laborers; how it deals with these changes in culture, economy and communication will define its’ successes and failures.”

Members of the community look very much like me. I am a Christian white male in my mid-thirties. I have two children, own two vehicles and live in a $250,000 home. I have met the mayor of Noblesville several times over the past few years, and he is very approachable, very personable and has many of the same interests as I do, including playing golf.

For the most part, I am typical of the Noblesville demographic. The average age in Noblesville is 33 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). I am white as is 93.28% of Noblesville (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). I am above the average income of $55,350 (U.S. Census Bureau) and my children go to excellent Four-Star schools. In Noblesville, many people I associate with look like me, act like me and have a similar standard of living as I do. Eric McKibben is 30 years old and has two children the same age as mine. He and his wife have a household income around $60,000 per year and their children attend the same schools and participate in several of the same after-school curricular activities. For several years, I worked for Michael VanOverberghe, who also lives in Noblesville, IN. He and his wife, Karen, live in a very affluent neighborhood on Morse Reservoir. Their annual household income exceeds $500,000 per year and have a very lavish and comfortable standard of living. I consider myself to be successful and at times a bit extravagant, but around people like the VanOverberghes (as well as many others in Noblesville), I consider my means to be significantly below theirs. Even in that light, I do not like to draw conclusions of people based on income and economic means. While wealth is abundant in Noblesville, the people are very down-to-earth, professional and accepting of those that are not exactly like themselves. The same trend continues when considering community leaders in Noblesville, IN.

Mayor John Ditslear is a white male, educated, wealthy, in his early fifties and heavily involved in the community. He is a Christian who has taken the time to visit my church on many occasions, even though it is not his home church. Mayor Ditslear has made an effort to accommodate people of different cultures by granting special days in observance of their culture as well as promoting cultural awareness in the city, among city and County employees, and has attended events held by multi-cultural organizations located in Noblesville and Hamilton County.

Doug Carter is the County Sheriff. He is in his late thirties and is a Christian white male. Sheriff Carter is the highest-paid county employee at $160,000 per year. He is involved in the Hamilton County Jail Ministry as I am, which ministers to inmates on a monthly basis. He seems to be consistent in the way he treats people, not only blacks and whites, but male and female as well. Sheriff Carter is a well-grounded man and is a role model for youth of any cultural background to look up to.

Another member of the community that looks much like me is Norm Chaudion, Pastor of Family Praise Center.

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