Anchorage’s Population Becoming More Diverse
More than half of school district students are non-white
ANCHORAGE - Alaska has seen big changes since it became a state 50 years ago. The population has more than tripled and the ethnic backgrounds of its residents are of a wider range.
“I think Anchorage is pretty well diverse,” said Darryl Crawford.
The 23-year-old Florida native has called Anchorage home for only a couple years.
”I wasn't expecting that much diversity when I moved up here two and a half years ago, and it shocked me pretty much,” said Crawford. “I’m black and I am a homosexual. I don’t feel any pressure or any grief from anybody about it. Nobody really comes at me wrong.”
But last year, voters failed to pass Proposition 5, which would have extended the city’s anti-discrimination laws to those in the LGBT community. And according to the 2010 census, more than 6 in 10 Alaskans are white.
But Anchorage is becoming more multi-ethnic and residents said it’s tolerant of the diversity.
“No discrimination, I like that,” said Espie Laxa, who recently moved to Anchorage from the Philippines.
In Anchorage schools, more than half of the students are not white – with the largest group being Asian or Pacific Islander.
Anchorage residents said those students are key to a tolerant society.
“I think awareness, especially at the grade school and middle school level helps a lot,” said Matt Cabana.
But others like Crawford said it all comes down to each person as individuals.
“Just be yourself and there is going to be intolerant people everywhere you go,” said Crawford. “The best thing I could say to anybody is don't let people change you. And look out for your community, no matter, Hispanic, white, black and be the change that you want to see.”