We hope to see more people turn out for future classes in a free series Public Library of Enid and Garfield County is hosting on the history and culture of the Marshall Islands.

The first class in the series was held Wednesday with 10 people in attendance.

Terry Mote, founder and president of Micronesian Coalition, taught the class on “Marshallese History and Identity.” In addition to live attendance in the Great Plains Room at the library, the class was streamed on Facebook.

We love any opportunity to educate. Learning should never grow old for anyone, and this series will provide a look at one of the fastest growing segments of our local population.

According to the 2020 census, 2,920 native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders live in Garfield County. That’s 4.6% of the total county population. Enid’s Micronesian population is estimated to be one of the largest in Oklahoma and the United States.

As Mote said during Wednesday’s class: “The more we learn about each other, the more we will love one another, care about each other and understand. We want to work with this community and share who we are.”

Mote said the series is like a complete Marshallese history book, and everyone wanting to learn more about the Marshall Islands can attend the classes, which are held the second Wednesday of each month.

“It doesn’t matter where we are — we never forget our roots,” Mote said, “but the challenge we are facing is with the younger generations. I hope that what I do here in sharing the cultures and histories will help to disseminate and educate more people. … Instead of building walls, we’re building bridges.”

The next class, “Explorers: The Story of Civilization,” will be at 4 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Great Plains Room of the library.

We encourage as many people as possible to attend. As we said, learning should never grow old.

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