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.


February's Theme - Black History Month

There are many people and events that have shaped the history of our country. Black History Month is a time when we highlight the achievements of Black Americans.


This month, I have been centering the theme on my blogs and mentor page on a few of these achievements. Check out my mentor page and see how I am focusing on that theme Selma P. Verde - Mentor Page

Many of the achievements of Blacks in our history showed how they overcame racial inequality and invented new things or became leaders in companies and organizations. Recently, more and more attention has been focused on people not being respected for being different. Many books have been written and discussions have been had about diversity and inclusion. In today's post, let's talk a little bit about what diversity and inclusion are and an organization that can help us better understand them..


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 has gotten us to the place we seem to be now; unable to get along with people who are different from us. Looking for some ways to get better at getting along? The Respect Diversity Foundation offers programs 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. One of the things I that caught my eye about them is a program they offer a program 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 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.


The program teaches kids and teens how to identify, talk about and prevent prejudice. Through this program, teens became kinder and more compassionate towards people. Some even take what they learned 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.


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


What can we do?

The discussion around diversity and inclusion is a hard one. Many of us are currently hearing a lot about how differently Blacks were treated and we are starting to listen. This is causing some of us to move from just being aware of diversity to now accepting and respecting.


What can you do?

  • Continue to learn more about the diversity found in our country.

  • Find out how the teens in your life feel about diversity and inclusion of others.

  • Teach them with the programs that are available at places like Respect Diversity Foundation.

By sharing the stories and messages with our teens and others, we can help change the current views and 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.


The Way Series incorporates diversity

When my editor Michelle and I worked through revisions of both of my books, The Hard Way and Shawn's Way, we created characters of different racial backgrounds to have active roles in both novels. 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 The Way Series on the books tab of my website. Here's a link to it Selma P. Verde - Books


Have a great week!