Teen Resource – Respect Diversity Foundation

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!


Parents and Teachers: Did you touch base with that teen in your life this week?

Teens: Did you touch base with the adults in your life? Let them know what is happening with you? I bet they would love it if you did.


This month's subject is America

My blog subject this month is America. We celebrated the 4th of July which commemorates America gaining her independence from England by signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776.


When people originally came to America, it was supposed to be a gathering of many people with different backgrounds. A melting pot as it was referred to. We brought a lot of people together, but we chose and continue to choose to not treat everyone the same way. So what has been happening lately? Protests, riots and deaths over people wanting to be heard and treated fairly.


Recently, more and more attention has been focused on people being treated differently. Many books have been written and many discussions have been had about diversity and inclusion.


Respecting Diversity and Inclusion

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, here are the definitions,


Diversity

Diversity is understanding that there are differences between people. Not only racial differences, but differences in culture, religion, sexual orientation, where you live and how much money you may make.


Inclusion

Is accepting and including people who are different from ourselves and including them in what we are doing as equal partners.


This quote from Verna Myers, a Diversity and Inclusion Expert explains the relationship between these two ideas.

While we are able to see and understand that there are differences between us and others, do we make a point to include those who are different from us? Or,

  1. Do we shun them?

  2. Bully them?

  3. Treat them differently because they are different from us?

The fact that we have historically treated people differently from ourselves has gotten us to the place we are now. Unable to get along with people who may be different from us. The Respect Diversity Foundation has programs they offer for kids and teens to teach us about diversity and inclusion.


Respect Diversity Foundation

This foundation is located in Edmond, Oklahoma. Its mission is to promote tolerance and acceptance across differences through communication, education, collaboration and the arts. They offer a program to educate kids and teens called “Different & The Same.”


“Different & The Same”

This is an engaging diversity program the foundation created to meet a 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.


Through this program, teens became kinder and more compassionate towards people. Some even became activists and advocates for diversity and inclusion with other people. This is the kind of grass root level teaching that needs to be done to help heal our country.


Here is a link to more information about the Respect Diversity Foundation and to the “Different & The Same” program.


The Hard Way incorporates diversity

When my editor Michelle and I worked through revisions of my first book, The Hard Way, we created characters of different racial backgrounds interacting in the story. Not only to show what racial makeup would typically be found in a borough of a city like New York City (which Manor City is loosely based on), but to show that characters of different backgrounds could come together as friends. Learn more about my book on the books tab of my website.


What can we do?

Find out how the teens in our lives feel about diversity and inclusion of others. Teach them with the programs that are available at places like Respect Diversity Foundation. This will go far to change the current views and to start adopting the ideas of diversity and inclusion in our society. What experiences have you faced with Diversity and Inclusion of yourself or others? Please let me know in the comments below.


Have a great week!