Mayor Embraces Diversity with New Initiative 

By Cheryl Conway 

An initiative is underway to promote awareness of the diverse cultures and holidays celebrated within the Mt. Olive community.

Established by Mt. Olive Twp. Mayor Joe Nicastro, the cultural awareness initiative aims to provide a mutual understanding and appreciation of all the cultures in town. A committee was being formed in February by local volunteers to collaborate and share ideas on how to cultivate the mayor’s program.

Some of the key highlights will be diverse programming, interactive workshops and celebrating holidays in Mt. Olive.

“I’ve always been fascinated by various cultures and their customs, relishing the opportunity to delve into the significance behind diverse traditions,” explains Nicastro. “In Mt. Olive, our community has evolved into a rich tapestry of backgrounds, cultures, traditions, and beliefs. My aim is to introduce these facets to all residents, fostering mutual understanding and appreciation.

“I firmly believe that embracing diversity isn’t just morally imperative but also pivotal for our community’s strength,” he adds. “By acknowledging and celebrating our differences, we pave the way for a more inclusive and cohesive society, one that values the unique contributions of each individual.”

Nicastro was seeking volunteers from diverse backgrounds to collaborate in documenting the holidays they celebrate and their underlying meanings.

“We’re eager to explore the traditions and special foods associated with these celebrations,” he says. “I believe it could foster community cohesion and appreciation for the diverse customs and cultures celebrated by our residents.”
For the committee, Nicastro is seeking individuals from different nationalities of varying ages who can share insights about their respective beliefs and holidays. 

He anticipates hosting two to four workshops for the committee to meet at the municipal building during evening hours. 

“The aim is for volunteers to document the history, significance, customs, traditions, and cuisine of the holidays they observe,” explains Nicastro.
“The venues are yet to be decided, but envisioning events such as “Holidays of the World” in our parks, showcasing the various cultural celebrations,” he says.
As far as cost for these programs, Nicastro says “there’s currently no designated budget for this initiative.”
For further details about this initiative, or to join the committee, reach out to Lisa Brett, mayor’s assistant, at


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