CBHC asks others to carry the ball

Diversity-promoting nonprofit is disbanding, wants its work continued


Community Building in Howard County, a nonprofit group that promotes diversity, recently announced plans to disband and is asking local officials and groups to implement its ideas.

CBHC created a 56-page report - compiled from interviews and surveys from more than 30 organizations - in October that focused on community and diversity in the county and ways to strengthen it.

The group hosted its 2006 annual meeting Monday evening to mark its achievements in the past year and asked the county government and other local organizations to make its ideas a reality.

Framework set

Jean Toomer, vice president of CBHC, said the group - made up of religious, cultural and ethnic organizations - decided to disband because it has succeeded in setting a framework for promoting diversity.

Toomer added that it is not the end for many in the group - which will formally disband next month - or its message. Rather, she said, many will continue to promote diversity, and it is the beginning for some organizations that have been urged to read the report.

"This is a road map," Toomer said of the report. "They can't do everything at once, but it should open some minds of how it will work if we work together."

On Monday, several organizations offered congratulations to CHBC and vowed to keep the message of diversity and community alive in the county. In addition, an aide for County Executive James N. Robey presented CBHC members with a letter proclaiming May 8, 2006, as Community Building Day in Howard County.

Progress made

Herman Charity, special assistant to the county executive, said Robey read the report when it was released last year and has made progress in implementing some of the suggestions.

Last week, Robey met with county department heads and asked them how the report pertains to their divisions, Charity said.

He said the department heads "were asked to see what things we are not doing and see how we can use certain boards and committees on issues."

Charity said one part of the report that is being addressed is more interaction with the Korean and Hispanic communities, aided by the county's Human Rights Commission.


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