On Inauguration And MLK Day, South Floridians Agree That Diversity Takes 'Work'
In recent years, parallels have often been drawn between South Florida's diverse population and the multi-cultural America that President Obama will be presiding over for a second term. But some South Floridians feel that cooperation between various racial and cultural groups is still a work in progress.
Among the hundreds of who filed into the Adrienne Arsht Center Monday to watch a live simulcast of President Obama's inauguration was Janette Kemp of Tamarac. She says that when it comes to multiculturalism, our region has more work to do.
"It's not there yet. I think there are so many different little entities here in South Florida,” says Kemp. “There are segmented communities by race, by income. So, there's a long way to go.”
Arsht Center Chair-Elect Alan Fein has been living in South Florida for nearly 53 years. He’s now a resident of Key Biscayne, but grew up in the Westchester section of Miami-Dade.
“We were all forced into a situation where we had to work together. Hispanics, African-Americans, the white Americans like me,” says Fein. “And we all figured out how to get along. And it's something we all need to do more of. And I think our President is leading the way.”
U.S. Census data shows that roughly 66% of South Florida's population is comprised of minorities. But a study by the Pew Research Center suggests that the rest of the United States will look more like South Florida in less than half a century. The report predicts that minority groups are on track to become a U.S. majority population within 37 years.