Letter: Wilton benefits from diversity

To the Editors:

We have all seen that racial conflicts, nationally and internationally, have become more serious and more numerous over the last few years. In this country recently, we have had killings in New York, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and now Dallas. Violence has become rampant as each side has become less understanding and more fearful of the other. As Adrienne Reedy has pointed out, to address the problem we all need to appreciate that we are different, not hide it or fight it, but honor and appreciate those differences that exist between us.

Those of us in Wilton can take some comfort from the fact that for 20 years now, the residents and the administration of our town have been generously supporting a program that promotes and nurtures diversity in both our community and our high school. It brings academically promising young men and women of color to Wilton for their high school years. We benefit them with the education and nurturing environment that, hopefully, will enable them to attend college. They benefit our high school and our community by introducing the multiplicity of cultures and life experiences they bring to our town. They are distinctly different than most of us in Wilton and that, in large part, is why the program seeks them out and brings them here. As we get to know them and their life experiences, we have the opportunity to better understand the differences in all us while putting our own lives in perspective.

At the end of their four years in Wilton, the ABC Scholars graduate and prepare for their next four years in college. They leave Wilton with great gratitude for what they have been given and periodically return to visit those with whom they have formed lifelong bonds. What is left behind is an indelible impression that their differences, their color, their culture and their life experiences have enriched those of us who have had the opportunity to know them. They leave Wilton having reinforced the belief that diversity is not something to fear, rather it is something to celebrate.

Readers are encouraged to visit abcwilton.org. to learn more about the program and various opportunities to participate.
John Klein, President
A Better Chance of Wilton
5 New Canaan Road, July 12