In the News
10-Year-Old Fights Intolerance
By Dawn Schuett, firstname.lastname@example.org
February 23, 2005
As the youngest member of the Diversity Council in Rochester, 10-year-old Grant Eckhoff already is well versed in the value of creating an inclusive community where people are appreciated, not scorned, for their differences.
"Our town is growing, and we need to learn about diversity because it helps us understand that if you are one color of skin, treating a person of a different color of skin badly is not right," Eckhoff said Tuesday during the kick-off of the Diversity Council's annual fund-raising campaign and membership drive.
Grant and his dad, Jon Eckhoff, who owns Venture Computer Systems, are serving as co-chairmen of the campaign.
A student at Sunset Terrace Elementary School, Grant learned more about the work of the Diversity Council when some of its volunteer facilitators visited his classroom to present a Prejudice Reduction Workshop. When his dad took him along to the annual meeting of the Diversity Council in January, Grant asked about becoming a member.
"It just struck me that this was something very good in life, and I wanted to join it and be part of it," Grant said.
During the campaign, Grant and his dad will ask local businesses to become corporate members of the Diversity Council and offer monetary support. The goal is to raise $100,000, $80,000 of which would come from at least 80 corporate members.
The donations will help the council stop racism and prejudice faster and help the community become a better place, Grant said.
Jon Eckhoff said he hopes his son lends a powerful voice to the campaign by being an example of what one person can do in fighting intolerance. "Grant gets it," Eckhoff said. "He's just one of those kids who understands the Golden Rule. He always has."
This year, the Diversity Council expects to reach more than 16,000 students with its Prejudice Reduction Workshops. It also will launch a project referred to as a "business toolkit" to help businesses bring diversity intiatives into their workplace; will continue working with Rochester Community and Technical College to present an anti-racism project, "White Privilege: Awareness to Action," to its students; and will expand outreach to inmates at the Adult Detention Center and local faith communities with diversity education.
© 2005 Post Bulletin. Used by permission.