Tagged with " African immigrant"
18 Dec
Posted in: Diversity
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Mayor Wilmot Collins


Mayor Wilmot Collins, Helena MT

Mayor Wilmot Collins. (Photo: Christian Science Monitor, Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff)

This story inspired me and touched my heart especially since it describes the amazing accomplishments of the man who serves as mayor of the capital of Montana, my home state, and a state that holds the distinction of never before having a black mayor since it became a state. Read all about Mayor Collins here:

Wilmot Collins’s back story includes escaping the civil war in Liberia, only to end up homeless in Ghana without permission to join his new wife in the U.S. After a miracle connection, he began the arduous process of completing the bureaucratic hurdles to come to the United States.

Now almost 25 years later he is not only the mayor of Helena, Montana, his part-time job, but he also serves as a child protection specialist in his “day job”. In addition, he holds leadership positions in the community– coaching soccer, singing in his Methodist church choir, serving on the board of the United Way, joining the National Guard.

Wilmot Collins stands in stark contrast to the voices of hatred who shout their resistance to allowing immigrants into our country as we have for generations. I have written about diversity as a hope for the future and love as a public ethic. Collins’s visibility and accomplishments demonstrate hope in the potential of immigrants who give back to their communities in gratitude by “channeling their fortitude forged by tribulation into education, community work and public service.” As we hear the heated conversation, hateful slurs and unrealistic fears of immigration critics, we can remind ourselves of the love and enthusiasm of Wilmot Collins, “who has overcome a tumultuous past and is trying to make the most of his future in an adopted land.” I appreciate the residents in Montana who volunteer and offer a loving hand to welcome immigrants from African and Middle Eastern countries who have resettled there. Their actions out-shine their critics.

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