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Here are some of the differences that the Cherry Hill community is implementing to live in a better place:

  • TLC (This life counts) – Teens suicide awareness
    • “School buddy bench” – Teachers will be coached how to approach and handle a child sitting alone on the bench. Making sure no child is left alone.
  • Police are going to High School to develop relations with students
    • Junior police academy, for ages 11-14 years old, a 1-week course.
  • Jewish family service “What’s In My Backyard” involves parents talking about losing children to drugs.
  • Change the name of section 8 housing to workforce housing
    • Changing the perception – affordable housing doesn’t mean devastation.
    • “Pollution can be solved with dilution.”


Luis Ortiz and I joined Mayor Chuck Cahn and the Cherry Hill Human Relations Committee, on September 26th, for an open dialogue about diversity and human relations issues, as they relate to our community.

What got created that night was a Diversity Day. An influential day that will educate the public about different cultures, sharing experiences and ideas to strengthen diversity and an understanding in Cherry Hill. This meeting was to encourage a new view, and eliminate prejudice and hatred. As was said in the meeting, this cannot be wiped out unless each and every one confronts it within our own circles. It takes courage to stand up for others.

What Luis and I experienced was so informative and left us filled with emotions to make a difference. Watching each person from the panel, from different cultures, share their own stories was moving. What filled me up was how so many from different backgrounds came together – to make a difference in the world through our communities.

A terrifying and devastating fact that sat with me, along every other one, was the increase of suicides, starting at age 7!!! It is vital that we all come together to support one another and create programs that will help and benefit all walks of life.

I’ve decided to share my emotions and what came from this meeting, in hopes of creating a way that we can do more to promote diversity locally, and create a better understanding of our differences with an end goal to become a stronger community and make a difference. Please educate your friends and families to be a part of creating a stronger future for all of us.

To change the world’s perception, we must first change within our circles and our communities.