On Dec. 2, 2019, Nicole Hylton-Patterson was hired as the Adirondack Diversity Initiative’s first director. A year later, she’s now providing a bundle of gifts gathered from area shops to an African American family that’s recently settled in Saranac Lake.
This is one of many initiatives she’s launched to make the region more welcoming to visitors of diverse backgrounds and, in this case, a family that’s taking up residence.
Hylton-Patterson knows personally that settling in can be rough as some people view diversification as a threat to their jobs, way of life or some other concern. She experienced it as graffiti painted on a railroad trestle she passed by every day on her morning run. Fortunately, a good Samaritan painted it out soon after, but the damage was done. Hylton-Patterson shifted her place of residence, much to the dismay of many in the community as voiced a few days later by Mayor Clyde Rabideau.
Hylton-Patterson further responded by organizing a series of online discussions about the Black experience in the Adirondacks with panels of experts that ranged from an ex-cop and diversity officers from regional colleges to local residents who shared their lived experiences.
Read the full article in the Lake Placid News.