By Rina Castro
The new Charles W. Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity is named after a former Montgomery County Executive, a devout Episcopal priest, and a man with a mission: ensure equality for all people, no matter the cultural background. Even though he is not alive today, his dreams are becoming reality with the opening of the new building set in Wheaton. I talked to his wife, Ms. Phoebe Gilchrist, about her feelings regarding the opening of the new building.
Q. What kind of leader was Mr. Gilchrist-politically and spiritually?
A. He was a man that cared about all people. He wanted to make sure that everyone had the same opportunities. He used that ideal when he was the County Executive. After he left government, I think he took that it became the root for when he went into the Episcopal priesthood.
Q. If Mr. Gilchrist were alive today, what do you think he would say about the center?
A. He would definitely say that it is wonderful. His dream was to help all people of different backgrounds and now it's just come to life.
Q. How do you feel about seeing the center come to life?
A. I think it is very wonderful I was just so happy to see the Center with the beautiful, new building.
Q. What kind of involvement will you have in Center activities?
A. As of right no, I don't know. Since I am in Baltimore, I don't know what I can do because the Center is in Montgomery County. But I would be willing to get involved in some activities.
Q. What part of the opening ceremony touched you the most?
A. The part that touched me the most was seeing the performers in their colorful outfits from their different countries. I was just wonderful. Also, seeing everyone's faces filled with pleasure, all gathered there to see the opening of the Center.