Understanding & Honoring the Power of Diversity

diversity1.jpgAs part of understanding our "World View," it is essential to look at our cultural biases and how historical diversity has shaped civilization. We must understand difference and the necessity of honoring it.

"Diversity refers to human qualities that are different from our own and those of groups to which we belong; but that are manifested in other individuals and groups. Dimensions of diversity include but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, parental status, religious beliefs, work experience, and job classification." —UC Berkeley, Human Resources Statement

"The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual."
—University of Oregon, Multicultural Advocacy Project

anti-racism.jpgBrown Eyes — Blue Eyes

One Teachers Response to Racism

PBS: A Class Divided

The day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in 1968, an Iowa schoolteacher gave her third-grade students a first-hand experience in the meaning of discrimination. The documentary of what she taught the children and the impact that lesson had on their lives​ is one of the most requested programs in FRONTLINE's history.

After the 2012 election, one of the discussions that rose to the fore, was the recognition that the United States is a country with diverse populations of immigrants who have come from every culture on the planet. The "traditional" dominance of Western Culture and the narratives of the European heritage are in question. Clearly in the 2016 election, the issue exploded into a dominant theme.

What is Racism (2017)?
Exit Polls, Voting Patterns (NY Times)
Bill O'Reilly: The White Establishment is the Minority Now
More O'Reilly on the subject of "Traditional America"
O'Reilly Responds to John Stewart on Traditional America

Legacy_.jpgLegacy: The Origins of Civilization

The video series, created in the 1990s, Legacy: The Origins of Civilization, does a masterful job of bringing diversity into our awareness. It was taped before the Gulf War and before the terrible destruction of the Iraqi War, before the Internet impacted worldwide cultures. It captures the roots of cultural history.

"We humans have been on the Earth for more than a million years, but civilization – life in cities – has come about only in the last 5,000."

Through five hours of documentary, looking back at the great, diverse civilizations of the planet, viewers are encouraged to recognize the incredible diversity of culture and faith that has shaped this planet. Starting with the roots of civilization along the banks of the Euphrates River, the series traces civilization through India, China, Egypt, Central America and finally, the West. Presented in six separate programs, the series runs approximately five hours.

1. Iraq: The Cradle of Civilization. After thousands of years as a hunter/gatherer, man built the first cities 5,000 years ago on the banks of the Euphrates River. Civilization as we know it began with the glorious cultures of Ur, Nineveh, and Babylon.

2. India. The Empire of the Spirit. Ancient India is with us today in the living tradition of the Hindu religion, the basis of Indian culture. The traditions that are honored by millions of Hindus in the present were born in the Indus valley 5,000 years ago.

3. China. The Mandate of Heaven. Many breakthroughs on which the modern world is based were discovered in China long ago… iron-casting, gunpowder, even printing. When introduced to Europe, these things changed Western civilization. This episode presents the synthesis of East and West.

4. Egypt. The Habit of Civilization. A great documentary about Ancient Egypt that confirms that it was the birthplace of modern civilization, more than 5000 years ago. This documentary supports many of Dr. Walter Williams' claims in regard to Egypt's influence in the founding of Christianity and Islam.

5. Central America. The Burden of Time. Isolated from the rest of the world, the Mayans and Aztecs created sophisticated civilizations that in many ways paralleled ancient Mediterranean empires. God-like kings and a priestly ruling class dominated splendid cities of temples and pyramids.

6. The West. The Barbarian West. Civilization arose in Asia, but it was the West which would create the first world culture. This final episode traces the origins of western culture through Greece and Rome prevailing by borrowing from the legacies of the original five old world civilizations.

The above links are to YouTube. If they're not working try the link below. Or, if you have a Netflix Account, you can watch it there. If you have Amazon prime, you can watch it free there. If not, follow the link below.

Click here to watch: Legacy: The Origins of Civilization

Media Resources