Thanksgiving for Diversity: Why not shop together?

All this month, we are sharing fresh ideas to celebrate diversity for Thanksgiving. We started this series with a look back to 1621. Today, we’re sharing another great idea you can try wherever you live.

Shop together for diversity

Think about this! Community leaders across the U.S. encourage diversity through events such as work projects, interfaith worship services, seminars and educational programs. So, how about shopping together as a way to appreciate diversity?

How WISDOM is partnering with SAKS in metro-Detroit

Here is how we’re doing this. Consider adapting this idea in your town …

The key person behind our local effort is Brenda Rosenberg, the WISDOM member who originally thought of producing a book together as one way to celebrate diversity. After a year of planning and contributions from dozens of women, the result of that idea is “Friendship and Faith”—the book we hope you’ll purchase to help us continue our peacemaking efforts. The book—and this ongoing website full of fresh stories by women—are two of our best ideas to encourage diversity.

Now, we’re adding another idea: shopping.

How did we come up with this idea? Well, Brenda has had more than one vocation. These days, she devotes her life to peacemaking through WISDOM and a number of other groups. But, for years, she was a nationally known fashion executive, making decisions about each season’s new styles for major department stores coast to coast. In the early days of her retail career, she was Fashion Director for Saks Fifth Avenue Detroit. When the Somerset Collection Saks store opened, Brenda worked around the clock perfecting displays throughout that new store.

“My roots are deep at Saks Fifth Avenue,” Brenda says as she explains why she is launching this latest idea at the Saks Somerset store. “When this store opened in Troy, I will always remember how I worked throughout the night putting the finishing touches on the store displays and mannequins, going home at 7:00 a.m. to shower and dress—then running back in 4-inch heels to cut the ribbon.” Some of the women Brenda worked with, years ago, are still a part of the Saks staff. “So, Saks has always felt like a second home to me,” she says.

Our Thursday, November 18, event is hosted at the Saks Somerset store in Troy, Michigan. Think about this idea: Shopping is an activity enjoyed by millions—and malls are places where we often rub shoulders with diverse cross-sections of our communities. Please, adapt this idea yourself!

If you live in Michigan, please join us, here are details:

We are asking $30 to attend this event, which includes a special program, a copy of our book—and a 15-percent-off coupon for shopping at Saks that evening. The evening begins at 5 p.m. with a social time and refreshments. At 6 p.m., some of the women involved in “Friendship and Faith” will share their stories and respond to questions. Then, from 7 to 9 p.m., we invite the women (and men) who are attending to use their coupons and enjoy shopping together. We meet new people, share our stories, spread the message of WISDOM through our book—and enjoy simply shopping and talking as friends.

If you live elsewhere and plan a shopping-for-diversity event:

Let us know! Email us at [email protected]

Please help us with Friendship and Faith!

As readers, we welcome you to contribute your own stories of cross-cultural friendship. (NOTE: There are helpful tips under “We’d like to publish your story”)

You can help in many ways! Purchase our book “Friendship and Faith,” which is packed with dozens of stories by women about their real-life experiences with cross-cultural friendships. Bookmark this page—or subscribe via the link in upper right. Share these stories with friends. (See links below.)

(Originally published at

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