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A few weeks ago, the rugged individualists of Idaho made a historic decision by voting yes on Proposition 2, voting to expand Medicaid to cover health insurance for Idaho’s less fortunate citizens. Now Twin Falls has taken another step forward by opting to start a Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee.

I applaud and encourage this move by the City Manager and City Council. What a forward-thinking and unifying position to adopt during this time of national unrest! As a medical professional, I can say with certainty that genetic diversity strengthens the human race. I can extrapolate that cultural diversity will similarly strengthen the fabric of our communities and our lives. Diversity has given us the foods we know and love — tacos, lasagna and General Tso’s chicken. Diversity has given us the designers we love —Christian Dior, Dolce Gabbana, Manolo Blahnik. Diversity has given us the life-saving medical discoveries by international physicians Louis Pasteur, Sigmund Freud, Zora Janzekovic, and others. Diversity in physician representation has given us the 2018 top 10 hospitalists---5 women, 5 men, one from Jordan, one from Nigeria, one from Argentina, one from Syria, two from India, and four from the US (ACP Hospitalist November 2018). How lucky are we to be healed by the world’s best and brightest? Diversity in our very own community has given us an immigrant-owned business that not only helps the local economy by employing both long-time residents and immigrants, but regularly donates to local causes!

It is time to lay aside the fear of strangers, to remember we are all immigrants, to recognize we all have red blood coursing through our veins, and appreciate what diversity does for us. I hope the entire community will support this step forward. We can lead the country in trying to heal fear-based hatred!

Banu Symington

Twin Falls

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