We asked Sarah McQuaide, Public Information Officer for the City of Dublin, to write about her experiences with DAC’s B.R.E.A.D! Festival and the celebration of diversity throughout the city. Below is her response.
B.R.E.A.D!—these letters spell out one of the most beloved foods the world over. And in Dublin, they spell out even more: Bake, Reconnect, Educate, make Art and celebrate Diversity. As we gear up for the second B.R.E.A.D! Festival, I’m drawn to the diversity aspect of the event.
Dublin is a global community. According to recent census estimates, 15 percent of Dublin residents are foreign born and over eight percent of our businesses are Asian-owned. Students in Dublin schools represent over 90 countries and speak more than 60 languages. City leaders embrace this diversity as a cornerstone of Dublin’s success: “Appreciation for diversity in all forms strengthens a community, fosters a welcoming environment, and is a critical component of a thriving, successful city.”– Excerpt, Dublin City Council resolution number 37-17
In recent years, the city has gone a step further by entering Friendship City partnerships with Mashiko, Japan and Dublin, Ireland, engaging members of the community in cultural exchanges in areas like education, local government, business and the arts.
In my role as a public information officer for the City of Dublin, I get the sense that residents feel the same appreciation for diversity, which is why I encourage you to come meet your neighbors and learn about the diverse cultures that make up the rich fabric of our community.
In getting to know my fellow B.R.E.A.D! Festival planning committee members, I’m confident even better things are in store this year. Their passion and drive are what makes this event so meaningful. I recall an exercise from our very first committee meeting; we were asked to go around the room and name our favorite bread. Naan, croissant, pan de queso, anpan, challah, even zucchini bread—that exercise demonstrated the diversity in the room, and the notion that every culture has some version of bread, making it the perfect unifying theme for this community celebration.
By Sarah McQuaide, Public Information Officer, City of Dublin