Parkville, Maryland--Oak Crest held its Annual Diversity & Inclusion Expo on July 19, a celebration of worldwide culture that brought residents and employees together for a day of learning and fun.
The event featured 15 exhibitors who showcased their countries of origin, religion and community. Attendees were treated to delicious cuisine such as empanadas, bruschetta, egg rolls, spanakopita, beignets, and French pastries, all prepared by the culinary professionals of Oak Crest. Guests also were encouraged to take a "passport" throughout Erickson Hall to be stamped at each exhibitor table to be eligible for a prize.
Countries featured included Scotland, Holland/Netherlands, Egypt, Germany, Japan, Italy and Ireland; the Protestant Community, Unitarian Universalists, Catholic Community and Jewish ancestry were represented, and organizations and services such as the PFLAG chapter of Bel Air, Oak Crest Intermissions, Oak Crest ABLE participated as well.
Dana Huntington-Smith is the Volunteer Program Coordinator at Oak Crest. "This event is so important to host because it highlights that we are all diverse and everyone has a unique story; no two people are the same," she said. "The Expo gives people the opportunity to tell part of their story and educate and, hopefully, open minds and hearts of those who may not know anything about that culture, religion, or community."
The Expo was sponsored by the Oak Crest Diversity and Inclusion Council. The mission of the group is "to create awareness and understanding through learning and to celebrate our diversity of culture, ethnicity, race, age, physical abilities, gender, sexual identity, religion and mindset of staff and residents." The Council, composed of residents and employees, hosts events and fosters an environment where all feel heard, supported and appreciated.
About Oak Crest: Oak Crest, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 87-acre campus in Parkville, Maryland. The not-for-profit community of more than 2,100 residents and 1,250 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of Oak Crest. Additional information can be found at OakCrestCommunity.com.