The Beacon Initiative (TBI) was created in 2019 in response to a series of hate events that occurred in Scotch Plains, NJ and its surrounding communities.
The objective of TBI is to provide our community with a resource that helps people learn to celebrate and value difference. As human beings, we have a tendency to associate with people who are most like us. We are most likely to associate with people with whom we share the same race, religion, sexual preferences, ethnicity, etc. That often means excluding from our lives people who differ from us.
At The Beacon Initiative, we believe that difference should be valued and celebrated. As we see it, all of our differences matter.
We are not exclusively focused on race, ethnicity, sexuality and gender. Rather, we believe that by exploring all of our differences, we learn to open ourselves to valuing everyone’s difference. We come to see that our differences offer opportunities for us to learn from one another and grow – if we allow them.
First, we have to start deconstructing the walls we use to separate us from others and that requires having conversations. The Beacon in our name is short for “Be A Conversation” and conversations are what TBI is all about.