WHAT IS IT?
The fourth Ah-Ha Conversations, “Our Identities Unedited” worked to widen our community narrative by creating safe spaces for civic dialogue, providing pathways for stories of identity, cultivating mutual respect and drawing strength from our differences. “Our Identities Unedited” was made up of many pieces, many voices, and many stories of identity. It is a community-wide conversation that is not limited to one time, one place or one group of people. We believe that in order for Lancaster County to be a vibrant, prosperous community now and in the future our community needs to draw strength from our diversity.
WHY ARE WE DOING IT?
Lancaster County has a long tradition of transitioning and segregated communities. Read more about our community and history here.
We arrived at this topic of conversation through seeing and experiencing the existing disconnects in Lancaster County today; between our history, our realities, our perceptions of ourselves and how others see our community. Many times when residents travel to another community and say they are from Lancaster County, people automatically assume they are Mennonite or Amish. Lancaster employers often have difficulty recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce. As the identities of individuals within our our community continue to transition, our leaders, systems, and organizations must transition as well.
HOW CAN I BE PART OF IT?
Tell your story! To change a community, we must start with ourselves. Our Identities Unedited is about each of us telling our own stories and listening to the stories of others. Tell your story to one friend, or to one stranger; tell your story over a meal or while taking a walk. Write it down, shout it out, dance it, paint it, sing it, cook it, arrange it….tell your story in the way that’s right for you.
WHO HELPED SHAPE THIS?
This project started with individuals and communities rather than organizations. These individuals have started to tell their own stories…join them.
Ah-Ha Collaborative members
Angelique Arroyo, Fran Rodriguez, Gloria Mast, Joe Morales, Kevin Ressler, Maureen Powers, Melissa Hawkins, Melody Keim, Nick Miron, Shayna Watson, Susan Dicklitch, Tracy Beyl
Public Art Subcomittee
Amy Ruffo, Arielle Gascot, Gloria Mast, Khem Subedi, Linda Hasunuma, Melody Keim, Ramon Escudero, Tracy Beyl