DO THE MATH - A Million things in Common Divided by 1 - HATE
What do you want out of life? Not just for yourself but for your family and friends? If I were to ask different ethnic-groups this question; they would have similar responses: Love, prosperity, peace, education, career, etc. Most importantly, happiness! WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON.
We want all the above and more for the people we love; yet some of us not only oppose but fight against the stability of others! It's time we put this age-old problem to rest!
Do THE MATH: I would like to set-up around Minneapolis a series of visuals, such as paintings, each with its' own category listing what we have in common. I would select artistes, and give them the tools ( paint, brushes, canvass, etc) they need to depict a category! At the bottom of each visual would be a description of what unites us and what divides us (racism)!
For example, USA Events: 9-11, Hurricane Katrina, and The oil Spill- We were all affected by these disasters. We mourned the loss of lives, and we aided those who survive. Let's further our unity by dividing racism!
Our idea is to conduct a seminar/diversity training for around 75 employers from various industries to learn about the religion of Islam so they can best accommodate their Muslim employees. Living in a state with such great diversity, understanding the customs, cultures, and beliefs of others is critical in bridging the gap of misunderstanding between different groups of people. From over the 200 complaints of discrimination we have received in the last 2 years, we have learned that discrimination is a symptom of racism and mainly occurs because of miscommunication and lack of understanding about the religion of Islam and its practices. The majority of the complaints we receive are employment discrimination complaints, where managers and supervisors lack the basic understanding of Muslim’s beliefs and practices. Without understanding Islam’s basic principles, employers find themselves discriminating against their Muslim employees by making off-hand comments and treating Muslim employees differently. Therefore, in 2009, we instituted proactive diversity trainings to bridge this gap of misunderstanding and provide resources to employers, schools, administrators etc.
Shoot to Reduce Racism: A Photovoice Project
Using digital cameras, people can work together to create a photograph exhibit that portrays their collective views on racism, including causes and solutions ranging from individual attitudes to societal policies. Participants would ideally represent diversity of race/ethnicity, age, gender, and social status. For example, a group of youth might create a photovoice project while a group of community leaders creates their own. This approach can encourage cross-pollination of perspective and ideas. Photovoice always yields policy implications, which might be for the local school, neighborhood, or city. A final exhibit is attended by the public (possibly media and legislators) to stimulate discussion toward action.
ContributorCarolyn Porta Garcia