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Diversity Day at Ashby Ponds Celebrated Inclusion and Cultural Heritage

July 30, 2015

(Ashburn, Va.) – On July 28, Ashby Ponds, one of 18 Erickson Living retirement communities, hosted a Diversity Day program, providing residents and staff the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the various heritages, beliefs, and characteristics that makes each individual at the community unique.  The event was supported by the Erickson Living Diversity and Inclusion Council and residents and staff at Ashby Ponds.

Jeff Watson, Director of Operations for Erickson Living and member of the Erickson Living Diversity and Inclusion Council, kicked off the day with a diversity presentation at the community.  In the afternoon, a variety of international cuisine was served for lunch across campus, including  a "Taste of Peru" inspired by one of Ashby Ponds' chefs.  The menu featured Peruvian seafood chowder (Chupe de Camarones), two Peruvian entrees (Pollo a la Parrilla and Causa Rellena con Pulpa de Cangrejo), and a Peruvian dessert (Mazamorra Morada). 

Later in the day, the diversity fair showcased nearly one dozen resident community groups and resident and staff representation from countries all over the world.  Among the resident groups included the Sign Language group, the Science and Faiths Forum, Unitarian Universalists, the Genealogy group, and residents and staff from Japan, Albania, Ghana, India, and beyond.  During the fair, residents and staff also had the opportunity to "pin" their country or city of origin on a world map and a U.S. map.  Pins were positioned from Greenland to Bolivia to the Marshall Islands.

Diversity Day ended with a cultural variety show coordinated by Ashby Ponds residents and featuring performances from Bollywood dance to music from the Japanese Koto instrument.  Residents and staff enjoyed seven acts during the program, which featured resident performers, as well as performers from across Washington, D.C. area organizations such as the Mudra Arts Center, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling, and Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Church of Reston.

"I am so proud of our community for coordinating such a great event, and I'm excited to see how our dedication to diversity and inclusion at Ashby Ponds grows in future years," said Jarka Slaninova, Project Manager at Ashby Ponds and member of the Erickson Living Diversity and Inclusion Council.

The Erickson Living Diversity and Inclusion Council comprises over 40 employees.  The council's mission is to foster a diverse and inclusive culture and champion initiatives to ensure that every person is treated with respect and dignity.   Recently at Ashby Ponds, a Diversity and Inclusion Resident Resource Group has formed; residents of the group will work with staff to support diversity activities and efforts across campus.

About Ashby Ponds:Ashby Ponds, one of 18 retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia (approximately 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.). The community is home to over 1000 residents and has more than 120 resident-run and resident-driven clubs and groups, an indoor pool, a fitness club, transportation services, 24-hour security, and flexible dining options. More information about Ashby Ponds can be found at