Well said, thank you Edna Foster: “We need to cultivate communication of races”! (Letter to the editor on Aug. 26)
My local and international friends here, LaGrange International Friendship Exchange — L.I.F.E., would wholeheartedly agree with you!
Please come and bring all of your African-American friends with you to fill our Callaway Auditorium for the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — hate crimes against humanity — with onstage celebrations of the transforming love in action, showing respect and appreciation of many races and backgrounds in our communities!
The September Concert for Peace Through Music had started as a worldwide creative response to unite all people and backgrounds with singing, dancing and music-making, thereby affirming our goodwill for peaceful living together!
LaGrange is one of the few communities nationwide and in the world to continue in this spirit of mutual respect and appreciation for each other, commemorating the historical fatal tragedy!
“Walk together, talk together, all ye people of this earth!” is still the inspiring motto of the American Field Service, AFS, as the oldest exchange student organization started by American Red Cross servicemen during WWI.
These and other nonprofit student exchange programs, like Nacel Open Door, are continuing this mission of getting to know each other better across continents, thanks to the outstanding hospitality of our generous host families, the wonderful support of local schools, counselors, teachers and administrators, churches and other community activities, bringing us all closer in better understanding!
Presently, we have foreign students here from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Norway! Some of our first students arrived here from Ghana and South Africa, hosted by our beloved Frank and Laura Lewis, uniting Africans with African-Americans across continents.
Each new year these students are amazed what they experience, never ever having been exposed to the many different races within their own high schools. Kenneth Redding’s brilliant African-American history month celebrations on stage with electrifying sounds and rhythmic dancing performances at LHS (LaGrange High School) leave them all spellbound!
In the same way, Katie Westbrook’s spring concert extravaganza at the same high school with mixed races united in the love of performing, makes them all want to stay in this unbelievable setting of working together! The great American school spirit here is always their dream to experience!
So, it is with our annual goal of uniting us all for one hour of music together for peace! African-Americans admired and respected by all of our community — like Ken and Laneeda Redding with their talented teenage groups and ensembles, as well as Kevin Dunn — sharing the stage with our vivacious Mexican Oropeza-Hernandez Freedom Sound singing team, our New Heaven Korean Choir friends and Van Barnett, are inspiring us all together with the Shoal Creek Quartet, our Young Singers, the Chorale Society of West Georgia and our Sons of Lafayette Male Choir, interspersed with Miriam Oropeza’s “Petit Ballet” of Chiapas-Mexico and Italian tarantella, children dancing in costumes for a mighty testimony of interracial celebrations for the good of our beloved community!
Let’s all unite in singing “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me!”
It’s a free concert for everyone! Come Sunday night, 9/11, at 7 p.m.! Join us also for our first international festival, downtown LaGrange, Saturday, 9/10, from 4–8 p.m.! Many fabulous surprises for all!
L.I.F.E board member
Editor’s note: Clarifications added in parenthesis.