Braedyn Hill

West Virginia Benefits From Diversity


Greetings, I am a student at the Morgantown Learning Academy and I wish to tell you something. Imagine a place where everyone, despite their origin, heritage, or beliefs, could travel to and be treated equally. Imagine a place where the entire United States could come to meet new people and improve interstate relations. Imagine that if we can change West Virginia, what would the effect be on the U.S.A or even the whole world. The mountain state is a good place to start, right?


I believe that the Morgantown non-discrimination ordinance should serve as an example and spread throughout the state because it would benefit West Virginia economically, socially, and demographically.  West Virginia has had a hard last hundred years for many reasons. Approximately ninety-five percent of trees in the state were felled because of aggressive logging. Mine Wars in the early 1900’s are a reminder of the difficult and bloody struggle of workers to unionize. The mountain state is a place of diverse cultures that could be even more diverse if we encourage interstate relations. I’m going to show you a few pieces of information to demonstrate  my point.


There are many economic benefits to implementing non-discrimination ordinances statewide. With a statewide non-discrimination law, people from other states and other countries would be more likely to come to West Virginia because they would not be treated differently. The trade and tourism industries would most likely benefit from such an increase  and would improve the economy. There would be new job opportunities for new and existing residents of the state because business owners would be more willing to relocate to a state where they would be treated fairly.


There are some social benefits to implementing non-discrimination ordinances statewide. With diverse cultures in the area, many different languages will be learned and then more people will have a better sense of different religions and maybe learn to respect other belief systems. Encouraging more people to come into West Virginia and to have equal pay and treatment would encourage them to stay in the state and that would bring up the dwindling population.


Now that I listed the benefits, let’s talk about possible permanent residency.  People are leaving the state due, in part, to lack of community services and a shortage of good jobs.  More people entering the state will mean more people to help with community services and community projects. There would be more people to assist, and generate jobs, in the medical industry, local service industries, and the politics in West Virginia if we had more people here.


West Virginia is a place of such beauty, and bringing more people to it’s wonder will share the love and passion we have here in our little state. In the past, miners had to work together with others they didn’t even know, but eventually became great friends! There have been many tragedies in our past, but I believe that if we put our differences aside, diversity can make West Virginia stronger.  

“The only difference between a flower and a weed, is a judgment.” -Dr. Wayne Dyer


Image result for morgantown non discrimination ordinance
People organizing at the city hall during the Non Discrimination Ordinance.
Image result for morgantown non discrimination ordinance
My teacher, Jen Osha speaking at the city hall meeting.