I know the other members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors wish they could be here for this first-ever Diversity Day celebration. Chairman Marc Nathanson, who has made diversity a crusade throughout his career, is particularly sorry to miss the event.
On a personal note, I want to say how honored I am to have been given the opportunity to work in this unique environment. I am constantly fascinated by the people who work here, their languages, their cultures, their religions. We’re all so different – and yet, we are all here under one roof, producing U.S. international broadcasting — and telling the world what America is and what it stands for.
Since September 11 of last year, we’ve heard a lot of reports about anti-Americanism, about how people around the world do not like Americans. Well, I believe that if we could give every single person a tour of this building – show them how people from scores of different countries with different backgrounds live and work together – we could change minds. This is what democracy and freedom are all about.
Of course, we can’t do that – but we can take pride in our organization and in each other. And we can celebrate the diversity in our midst.
Washington Mayor Anthony Williams got it right when he said in his Diversity Day proclamation, “The richness of the