As we continue our journey through Diversity, I would like to talk about our featured resource for this quarter. The Respect Diversity Foundation.
The Respect Diversity Foundation
is located in Edmond, Oklahoma. Its mission is to Promote understanding, respect, and acceptance across differences through communication, education, and the arts
One of the things that originally caught my eye is a program they offer called “Different & The Same.”
“Different & The Same”
The Respect Diversity Foundation came together with the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice and created this engaging diversity program to meet the need to educate kids and teens about diversity. They take this program to the schools and educate not only the kids and teens, but also the teachers and community.
The program teaches kids and teens how to identify, talk about and prevent prejudice. Through this program, teens become kinder and more compassionate towards people. Some even take what they learn and eventually become activists and advocates for diversity and inclusion with other people. I believe it is this kind of grass-roots level teaching that needs to be done to help heal our country.
The Respect Diversity Symbol Campaign
When we look at art, we get an artists view of an issue expressed in an unique way. This art is found in the form of a visual picture, sculpture or even writing a book or a poem. Their chosen medium creates a symbol of one perspective from which that issue can be seen. That is the idea behind another campaign The Respect Diversity Foundation created to get the message out about Diversity. It is called The Respect Diversity Symbol Campaign.
Research shows us that engaging creative experiences reinforce and deepen this empathetic learning. The Respect Diversity Symbol Campaign is a project which focuses on specific diversity issues such as human rights, global unity, special needs, or religious tolerance for more ideas on how to create messages of diversity through art!
The campaign brings a group of people together to discuss a specific diversity issue. This issue is presented through reading a book or viewing a presentation. Then the group collaborates to come up with a symbol representing how they view the issue. In one of the programs in this campaign, groups of kids and teens take on this project. Follow this link to their website and learn about COLORS Of DIVERSITY, the outcome of thousands of students’ participation in the The Respect Diversity Symbol Campaign.
Learning about Diversity through Art
We learn about diversity through seeing art from different perspectives. When we visit an art gallery, sometimes the messages the artists are trying to portray through their work are available to read about. Have you been to your local art gallery? Why not go there with your teen or young adult and ask them about what they see in a painting or what a poem means to them. Or, look at The Respect Diversity Foundation website and talk about what they see there.
Be sure to check out the diversity page of my website for more information about this featured resource. I also share what diversity topics we will be focusing on in February and March.