One America Community Efforts
Little Bar

Program: ISM (N.) National Diversity Project
Contact(s): Tony Deifell, Executive Director (919) 688-0332
Purpose: To build young people's civic skills for working together across the lines of difference and utilizing diversity as a strength

The -ISM (N.) National Diversity Project has three components: 1) "My So Called Community," a reality-based, one-hour television drama currently in post-production, that shows perspectives of seven college students across the country who are ready to face the challenges of living in a diverse society. Armed with cameras, these students spent a year taking stock of who they are, both because of and inspite of their families. It was a year to think critically about the impact that race, religion, class and sexuality had on their relationships and in how they will fit into the larger society; 2) the Curricula and Faculty Development Project works with colleges and universities to develop courses that integrate video production with experiential learning to build students' civic skills for working across the fault lines of difference. The project was successful in accomplishing concrete outcomes such as the creation of new diversity courses at 19 colleges and universities nationwide, working with 60 teachers and 350 students over a long-term educational process and the placement of 92 news and feature stories about the value of multicultural education; and 3.) the Multimedia Campus Diversity Summit involved four weeks of campus activities addressing diversity issues at 86 colleges and universities nationwide and culminated in a live town-hall style videoconference of 8,000 students. The videoconference was cablecast in fall 1997 to seven million homes via 70 local cable affiliates. Students from around the country submitted over 400 video letters about diversity issues.

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