The DNI Journal
Diversity Network Institute • 701 South Dobson Road • Suite 333 • (480) 649-2929
Spring 2004
The Diversity Network Institute specializes in diversity, multicultural, interpersonal and communication training by offering a variety of services & products including a seminar entitled "Learning to Live without Labels." Our services & products are built upon a foundational belief that Unity is Diversity in Harmony.
Four A's of Multiculturalism Unity is Diversity in Harmony!
I am often asked if there are stages and/or steps to take to become a "multicultural" individual. Here are specific stages DNI employs: Awareness, Acceptance, Appreciation & Accession.

When feelings of discomfort arise when trying to relate to people who seem "different or unusual" the Four A's of Multiculturalism are helpful. It is important to understand who the other people really are before making quick judgments. Paul D. Christiansen, Ph.D.

A Quote Worth Placing in Action!
"True freedom must be earned by practicing to the right thing. There is no such thing as a gift of independence." Oswald Chambers

 

The New Colossus A Modern Fable

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cried she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teaming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus, 1883

Inscribed on a bronze plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903.

Reprint by Permission: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow: Meeting the Challenge of Our Multicultural America & Beyond Christiansen & Young

Once upon a time, way back in history when cavemen chose their mates with clubs, a certain bear decided the time had come for finding his mate. Searching high and low, he finally found the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen, and he tried his best to woo her. Sadly, every time he sang that all-time classic hit, "Grizzly's Love Call", she ran off, leaving him in her dust.

Now this bear had a minor problem, nothing unusual for a bruin his age. He was extremely myopic, a real Mr. Magoo of the animal kingdom. But he knew this was true love. His nose led him straight to her.

The harder he tried, the harder she fought, rebuffing his advances. Suddenly, he understood why cavemen clubbed their mates.

It's a long story how he managed a similar feat of clubbing her, but he did--just as he then refused to hear friends' admonishments as they tied her tail to his (while she was still knocked out, of course). When she awoke, she was livid. Such language he'd never heard from a lady before.

And he certainly didn't expect her to continue fighting what sure felt like she intended to be to his death!

When he could take no more, he conceded she'd won, and once again their tails were free. He had to let her go.

MORAL: Even though the bear and the rhinoceros have been unified by having their tails tied together, that does not guarantee unity.

Many people use the terms "unity" and "unification" interchangeably, applying unification techniques to achieve unity. Comprehending the difference between the two words is as important as understanding how these two dissimilar approaches appear when dealing with people and their cultural differences in the real world.

Independent, interdependent--for instance, cooperative learning and working--and dependent relationships should be considered within the unity concept, including interactions ranging from those between two individuals to those between two nations or groups of nations. To achieve unity, we need to understand and apply the concept of interdependence as a foundation for positive relationship building.

But some people believe unification within a nation as well as between nations is of primary importance. Two major recent examples of unification, however, have failed, the recent dissolution of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia demonstrates that unification focuses on external stimuli to achieve and maintain by force. Unless unity is the primary goal, unification tends to fail. But while East and West Germany become physically unified, if the people themselves are not in unity—resulting in internal changes of attitude—the coming years may be extremely difficult from the cultural, economic and political standpoints.

Unification stems from the outside, moving from diversity to uniformity; unity emanates from the inside, moving from uniformity to diversity, and here lies the major difference. By changing our own thinking first from a unification model to a unity model, we will begin to achieve respect, cooperation, economic opportunity and so on.

 

Our Constitution & We as Individuals! Your Comments!
The Constitution has given us, as Americans, the right to worship as we choose as well as our right to live and work in an environment whether our religious beliefs, racial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds are not used as avenues to foster discrimination and the loss of such freedoms.

The often-quoted statement in the Constitution declares a separation of church and state, that the State or Government not establish a religion as was common in Europe at the time of the founding of our country.

So what do we as Americans do about religious issues, ideas and practices as they relate to that which is taught in the classroom or demonstrated in the workplace? I believe the answer is two-fold. We as individuals have the right and should exercise that right to live and worship as we believe; but we should not impose our beliefs on others by using our positions on the job. Various religious beliefs are sometimes necessary to include when studying about people from various cultures. But do not assume that all people from a given culture have the religious beliefs of the majority in a specific culture.

Thus, separation of church and state does not mean that religion is to be banned from government, but rather that government is banned from establishing a state church or interfering in the functioning of local religious groups.

"The workshop was very well prepared—the materials and video were great!"

"..causes one to evaluate your own practices in multiculturalism."

"Discussion groups were very motivating."

"..provided strategies for changing my beliefs."

Increased my awareness and I will become more sensitive to others."

"I view everyone's culture and personality different. I see a whole new picture of our surroundings."

"I have a better understanding of myself, the things I do, the things I say, and even my body language."

"This seminar was worth my time and money spent and I recommend it for everyone to experience."

A Quote Worth Contemplating!
"Raised voices lower esteem. Hot tempers cool friendships. Loose tongues stretch truth. Swelled heads shrink influence. Sharp words dull respect." William A. Ward

 

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