Monon 16 has always been a place of diversity. The school and churches in the neighborhood created a foundation for a community unique to the rest of Indianapolis. People were attracted to the area by the prospect of railroad jobs, as many trains came through the neighborhood. Many of the immigrants were fleeing adversity in their native countries, and were unfortunately met with much of the same once reaching the states.
Teen Works’s song Immigrants highlights the relationships between different ethnic groups in and around Monon 16. Many people found solace in their diverse community, even when the world outside was less accepting. Historical photographs depict Monon 16 housing western european and southeast asian immigrants in addition to the predominantly African American community that had already been established there. This blend of cultures is what created the characteristic vitality of Monon 16, resulting in the vibrant neighborhood we have today.
Though the struggles of the immigrants arriving might have been different based on where they came from, they found themselves thrown together by life’s circumstances in this new home. They then laid the foundation for a neighborhood which has done- and is doing- great things for the city. Without the resilience of these immigrants and their willingness to put aside differences for the good of their new home, we would not have the unique community we have now at Monon 16.