Celebrating neighbors in Topeka

I was honored to jump on the Topeka Metro Bus bus as a VIP for National Night Out. We stopped at five neighborhood parties and the bus was full of caring individuals, officers, and event organizers. Citizens were given an evening of intentional space to get to know their neighbors. For me, I was peeking into Topeka’s unique and beautiful range of diversity.

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I experienced…

• yard games
• balloon animals
• fruit salad consisting of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and pecans
• nachos
• white people
• black people
• brown people
• Low social economic status
• High social economic status
• Fancy spaces
• Outdoor spaces on a Kansas summer evening 
• And more

No matter the location I always saw families together and having a good time. Though there was diversity, there was a special sameness: family, laughter, food, and space to build friendships. I wish that everyone could have seen and experienced the array. Topeka is full of differences and I got to lean into the beauty of the differences at each of the five stops. I applaud anyone who celebrated in their neighborhood this fall and next year let's be a part of the goal to have 100 neighborhood parties in Topeka! (#100in2016) Stay tuned as this and some other experiences have led me to share more perspective on Topeka’s diversity. Also mark your calendar for October 2nd as Topeka participates in The Race Card Project, celebrating Rosa Park’s 60 year anniversary movement, and walk united over the Kansas Avenue bridge to enjoy First Friday in NOTO!

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