The Respect Diversity Foundation promotes tolerance, acceptance and affinity across differences – through communication, education and the arts.
We help learners of all ages understand and appreciate other cultures and their own, create positive inter-group relationships, and build strong communities throughout the state of Oklahoma, the U.S., and the world.
Our country’s greatest strength is our rich diversity.
While we have made significant progress toward realizing our ideals of equality and acceptance for all, much remains to be accomplished.
According to the U.S. Justice Department (May, 2004), one out of every four children will be abused by another child during their school career. And workplace bullying has become such a severe problem that almost everyone knows someone who experiences significant, chronic distress (and even trauma), for most of the day, almost every day.
These are just two examples among thousands that demonstrate the heartbreaking consequences of failing to nurture empathy and connection between children. Thsse consequences reach far into adulthood and cause untold damage and destruction – through discrimination; inter-personal misunderstandings; abuse and violence; inter-group conflicts of all kinds; and even war and genocide.
We cannot afford to look the other way, hoping things will improve.
Real solutions are available to us.
Research shows us that compelling communication, education and arts experiences open the mind and heart to the beauty of diversity and the pain caused by intolerance, transforming lives and communities.
Children sit spell-bound, immersed in what they are hearing and seeing.
Teens become kinder and more compassionate people – even activists and advocates.
Adults become inspired and motivated to make personal changes and become change agents.
Weeks and months after our programs, we hear reports of students standing up for others who are bullied, teens who are becoming involved in social justice causes, and adults addressing disrespect and intolerance in their workplaces, faith communities, clubs, and civic organizations.
Research also shows us that engaging creative experiences reinforce and deepen this empathetic learning.
To provide these experiences, we enrich and supplement our presentations with engaging arts-integration experiences that reinforce what participants have learned, even as we promote arts-integration for diversity learning in schools and organizations.
The source of the Respect Diversity Foundation’s strength is threefold:
1) The rich experience and expertise of our Speakers and Artists Bureau – which includes civil rights leaders, artists of all mediums, authors, Holocaust educators, historians, storytellers and musicians. These gifted communicators share their powerful, unique talents, stories and messages with people ages 3-103 in schools, places of worship, community groups, agencies, businesses, and corporations.
2) Our close, strong relationships with educators and schools throughout the state of Oklahoma, which allow us to support teachers in nurturing tolerance and respect in their students through numerous and varied arts-integration and interdisciplinary projects.
3) Our annual, statewide Respect Diversity Arts Competition & Exhibition, which ensures that the greater community encounters and experiences creative collaborations by Pre-K through grade 12 students, promoting respect between those who are different.
Nurturing respect for diversity creates friendlier and safer schools and a higher quality of life in Oklahoma communities and the world.
More important: It’s the right thing to do.
Contact us now to find out how you and your organization can get involved.
The Respect Diversity Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Donations are treated as charitable contributions under federal tax law, and by most states.