Early 2017 was a charged political time in our country. Executive orders targeting immigrants were affecting our community with deportations. Many Louisvillians did not agree. Many Louisvillians were scared.

Mayor Greg Fischer called meetings to discuss how the community wanted to respond. From these conversations, a sentiment arose…..WE are Louisville.

I am Louisville. You are Louisville. WE are Louisville.

It started as a movement to defend the belonging of our neighbors who were persecuted. Now it has grown to be an effort to recognize that all us, all Louisvillians, represent a plethora of opinions, backgrounds, ideologies, and beliefs. We agree on some things; we disagree on some things. And yet…we are all Louisville.

It seems that so much of our public discourse tries to silence or drown out the opposing point of view. The unfortunate effect is that doing so leads us to be more and more polarized. The goal of We Are Louisville is to find ways where we can all show up, with our differences, and still recognize each other as neighbors in this community in which we all live.

Our opinions and views are shaped by each of our lived experiences. Our aim is to create spaces where we can experience others who may seem different in an environment that is safe and respectful. Our hope is that we find ways to understand one another, even if we don’t agree with one another. Our hope is that we can remember that we all create this community together. We may come to see that our core values are actually very similar, and perhaps we can even come to celebrate our differences.

We are each unique. We all belong. We are Louisville.