REMARKS GIVEN AT THE WELCOME OF STORYCORPS IN SILVER SPRING April 23, 2019
On behalf of Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro, and all who live, work, visit, pray, and play in our community: WELCOME!
It is with a deep sense of gratitude we welcome WAMU, NPR, and the StoryCorps team to Silver Spring.
Thank you – gracias – for choosing our community for this amazing month long project… And thank you to your wonderful staff that has so diligently worked with our team here in the Silver Spring Civic Building and Veterans Plaza to make this event a possibility.
And on a personal note: As an avid NPR listener – and annual contributor: It is simply awesome to have you here!
Our Silver Spring stories will not disappoint.
We who call Silver Spring – and Montgomery County and our DMV area – home are one feisty, inventive, loud, and opinionated bunch – as I am sure you will hear.… Thank you for giving us a space to share our stories.
We have a complicated, incomplete, and imperfect history here in Silver Spring. Some of us have been around for a while; others arrived only yesterday… We come truly from all walks of life, all economic strata, social class, and backgrounds.
Some of us are home grown, with deep roots in the rich local tradition, heritage, and privileges… Others are from all corners of the world, bringing with us our own tradition and heritage to form this quilt of a community that we call Silver Spring.
Together we are trying to make of this vibrant, thriving, intensely diverse community a place we can all call home… Silver Spring: A place with spice, soul, salsa, and spirit… A place where we can share equitably, be just with each other, and build what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called “a beloved community”.
We get that some would say that creating a beloved community can only be aspirational and not realistically achievable – we have too many problems, too many dysfunctions, too many deep hurts.… Yet, for many of us here the process of creating a beloved community is a real, achievable, practical – if difficult - journey… We are committed to this journey together, discussing, conversing, arguing, laughing, dancing, and dialoguing the best we can; not trying to convince each other so much as trying to understand each other… Trying to identify those points where our stories intersect; where we can build on common interests, hopes, and dreams.
- It is through sharing our stories that we accompany each other.
- It is through sharing our stories that we strengthen our relationships; for relationships are built on shared experiences.
- Our personal stories define us.
- Respectfully listening to each other’s stories honors us.
- Celebrating and rejoicing in each other’s stories brings us together.
- And weaving all these personal stories into our collective giant story is the foundation of our “beloved community.”
So, thank you – gracias – WAMU, NPR, and StoryCorps for making it possible for us to take this journey with you.