Borough President Eric Adams united Brooklynites in one of the largest cultural exchanges of the year to celebrate the importance of diversity in our communities on Saturday, August 7.
The Third Annual International Day of Friendship, part of Adams’ “Embrace Your Hyphen” campaign, encouraged borough residents to join together and honor their differences. A Unity Parade of Flags marched from Fulton Mall to Brooklyn Borough Hall, featuring 195 flags from nations around the globe.
“I call on all Brooklynites to ‘Embrace Your Hyphen’ as Americans with distinct heritage. International Day of Friendship reflects the beauty of a borough where 47 percent of households speak a language other than English at home, more than one-third of residents were born overseas and the sounds of many different languages are the music of our street corners. I invite everyone to stand with me in our diversity as One Brooklyn.” said Adams.
The day had an emphasis on honoring Muslim-American veterans of the armed forces and highlighted Muslim contributions to America’s military in a speech by Adams, who walked hand-in-hand with those veterans and later targeted presidential candidate Donald Trump’s criticism of of Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the Muslim-American parents of fallen Army Captain Humayun Khan.
“We must out-Trump Trump. This is not the land of cowards. We do not turn against each other. We embrace each other,” he said, “And we do not allow people to use religion to harm those who righteously worship in peace.”
A wide variety of cultural activities were available to the public to reflect the vast range of diversity Brooklyn has to offer. The large crowd enjoyed performances, face painting, henna tattoos, magicians and even a free taste of international cuisine.