A Dialogue on Diversity: Plymouth’s growing population
The city of Plymouth is on a mission to create a diverse atmosphere where everyone is welcomed. The seventh largest city in the state has become increasingly diverse with a large Russian and Indian population. The hub of global medical tech companies in the city also brings new faces that call Plymouth home.
“We love the long winter here,” said Samayita Ghosh, who is originally from India.
Ghosh and her husband moved to Plymouth in 2016. She has a university degree in fine arts, but she can’t work here because of her visa.
“I cannot earn here.” She explained. “So, I was just sitting back, at home doing nothing and wasting my time.”
Volunteering and Making New Friends
Ghosh started volunteering with the city of Plymouth, which gave her a new purpose.
“I was not very sure about volunteering, because it’s not very common in our country. It’s a totally new experience,” said Ghosh.
Her doubts quickly faded when she met new friends while stuffing envelopes. She also helps out in the engineering department.
“I meet new people every time I volunteer,” said Ghosh.
Volunteering has helped Ghosh learn about American culture. Meanwhile, her fellow volunteers, who are white, learn about customs in India.
Plymouth Police beefs up community engagement program
The Plymouth Police Department has beefed up its community engagement efforts to open the lines of communication with immigrants and other residents. The goal is to be more transparent and trustworthy.
“Everybody’s got different experiences with law enforcement and that’s going to impact their response to us when we arrive on a call,” explained Schools and Community Sergeant, Curtis Smith.
He says the city’s community outreach program is all about building authentic and sustainable relationships with residents. Plymouth Police have made special efforts to get in touch with certain areas of the community that are higher in diversity.
“Speak openly about relationships, and then encourage the ongoing communication with those communities, so when there are issues, we can get on top of it quickly,” Smith explained.
The Plymouth Parks and Recreation Department is also doing its part when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Throughout the year it offers educational workshops and classes to residents.
“We have anything from education on Islamic groups, to a Great Britain series,” said Recreational Manager, Kari Kemp.