"Not even the streets here are straight!"
Writer Chadwick Moore said it best in his article about our beloved Eureka Springs in Advocate Magazine when he coined the phrase, "The gayest small town in America you’ve never heard of."
As Spring blooms, the first of our three (yes, three!) planned Diversity Weekends are set to take place. You see, here in Eureka Springs, we are proudly diverse every day and to celebrate that fact only once a year is simply not enough. Full blown Diversity Weekends happen each Spring, Summer and Fall and with each you will experience a different season, different events and activities, different shows and music, and of course, different people from all different walks of life.
That's the point of diversity and our small town of 2500 "totally gets it."
"Here you won’t find chiseled pecs, high fashion, Fire Island timeshares, or people classifying themselves based on facial hair or body type. In Eureka, a sense of pride is a Southern thing, and it’s much older than any contemporary conventions." - Chadwick Moore, Advocate Magazine
What you will find is beauty and joy all around you:
art and music
writers and cooks
history and nature
homes, hillsides and vistas
butterflies, dragonflies, fireflies that elicit joy
connections and relationships
food and beverages
hotels, B&Bs and guest houses
. . . and lots more...
Eurekans have a joyful way of thinking. We think -- why not celebrate all of this, and appreciate what is being cultivated here and our place in all?
So we do.
See, here in Eureka Springs, we are diverse everyday but we choose to come together to celebrate our diversity three times a year in Spring, Summer, and Fall.
SPRING DIVERSITY 2023
April 6 - 9, 2023
The weekend officially kicks off on Saturday morning in Basin Spring Park with the tri-annual Public Display of Affection, where dozens of locals and visitors gather for a photo op to give their neighbors a big mouthy kiss BUT most people arrive starting on the Thursday prior for some ease into it fun, first getting a feel for the place. The town will be flowing with music, activities and events and everyone comes out of hibernation and "gets into it."
Besides bringing a fun event to town three times a year, there is an upward moving economic impact for tourist lodging, retail, restaurant and bar sales. During each Diversity in the Park event, they take surveys and use collected information. Surveys show there are visitors from Northwest Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kansas and Missouri, but they have also had travelers from California, Florida, Oregon, Indiana, New York, Washington D.C., and Canada.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are essential in creating an inclusive community.
Eureka Springs takes actionable steps to foster our inclusive community and we all work together. As the saying goes ... "it takes a village."
So let's spread the love...
Consider the following steps to create an actionable plan in order to foster a more inclusive community wherever you are:
Collect Data: First, ask your city leaders to help support the collection of data by collaborating on a survey or holding focus groups to gather information about the current state of diversity and inclusion in the community. This data will help to identify the areas that need improvement.
Establish Goals: Based on the data collected, the city can establish goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These goals should be aligned with the city's vision and mission statements.
Form a Committee: It is essential to form a committee with a diverse group of individuals who will work together to achieve the established goals. The committee should include representatives from different ethnicities, cultures, religions, genders, and social backgrounds.
Develop Strategies: The committee can develop strategies that are based on the goals established. The strategies should be multifaceted and address different areas like education, housing, employment, healthcare, and community engagement.
Implement Policies: Policies can play a significant role in ensuring that the strategies and goals established are sustained over time. Thus, the city can adopt policies that promote diversity and inclusivity in different areas.
Evaluate and Monitor: The committee should regularly evaluate and monitor the progress of the implemented strategies and policies. The evaluation can be based on predetermined metrics like the number of minority-owned businesses, diversity in the workforce, and participation in cultural events.
Engage the Community: I saved the best for last. Involving the community in different steps of the process is most important. This is what Eureka Springs does really, really well. From data collection to evaluation, the community has a voice.
Over time, as everyone works and engages together, life (just as it is here in Eureka Springs) will flourish forward from a place of love because as the community collaborates and bonds, the connections get stronger. The result becomes a well-fostered sense of trust, ownership, loyalty and safety for all; like a family.
I am happy to call many people here - family.
Welcome to the family.❤️
Get all the information here: