Diversity is in our DNA

January 3, 2014 

Max de Pree author of Leadership is an Art and founder of the Max de Pree Center for Leadership in Pasadena, California had this to say about diversity:

“We need to give each other the space to grow to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may give and receive beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing and inclusion.”

So, as we continue to communicate the spirit and core values of Lee’s Summit, it becomes evident that diversity is in our community DNA. We’re the type of place where inclusion is just as important today as it was back in 1865, when we began welcoming residents and visitors alike. Let’s not forget that when early settlers, each with their own unique characteristics, came to town, they were overflowing with shared dreams and ideas to create a better life for everyone.

Throughout the years, Lee’s Summit has continued to attract forward looking people who shared a common interest, built on a high regard of respect and openness for their neighbors. People saw the importance of inclusion and built a diverse people-to-people coalition, which allowed them to embrace and celebrate those things they had in common with one another, rather than wasting valuable time nit-picking those things that set them apart.

Diversity and preservation of culture is what connects the people of Lee’s Summit. It influences their values, their hopes and their perspective on life. That’s why nearly 150 years later Lee’s Summit is the place where family and friendship are the backbone of community. Where people still find comfort through personal connection and take great pride in coming together to do small but responsible things to help make life better for everyone who calls Lee’s Summit home.

Yours Truly,

James McKenna is the branding manager for the City of Lee’s Summit. Reach him at

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