A collaboration of The Center for Spirituality & Practice and the Fetzer Institute

April 22, 2019
Content Update
Dear Colleagues,
"Only when we have the courage to cross the road and look into one another's eyes," wrote professor and theologian Henri J. M. Nouwen, "can we see there that we are children of the same God and members of the same human family."  People speak of "celebrating diversity": the many cultures, religions, sexual orientations, languages, physical abilities, learning styles, ages, genders, income levels, social roles, and other differences that make humanity an endlessly fascinating array. These differences are well worth celebrating, yet in a world where tribalism often leads to prejudice, hatred, and violence, our celebration needs to be coupled with courage.

To help sustain your courage, we have pulled together resources on the topic of Diversity for you across genres: book and film reviews, book excerpts, spiritual practices, articles, blogs, e-courses, quotes, and more. We even have some diversity memes for you to share on social media.

The staff at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley point out that appreciation of diversity is "a prosocial skill, like empathy or forgiveness, that can be developed over a lifetime with intentionality, knowledge, and practice. In diverse societies, cultivating our ability to forge relationships across differences can actually increase our well-being." We trust that this topic will help you hone an essential set of skills that brings well-being -- personal and societal -- in its train.

Salaam, Shalom, Shanti, Peace,

The Practicing Democracy Project Team


New in Democracy Mentors 
John Muir , the botanist and geologist who founded the Sierra Club, reminds us that the wilderness is a temple and calls us to contemplate, appreciate, and protect it. 
 Michael Moore, the Academy Award-winning American documentary filmmaker, continually invents outrageous scenarios that ridicule dangerous realities.
Edward R. Murrow, the television journalist, set a high bar for integrity and fearlessness in his reporting about the state of U.S. democracy.
Joanna Macy,
the eco-philosopher and Buddhist scholar, encourages us to rise to the challenge of reclaiming the good Earth for future generations.  
Also new in Naming the Days: National Parks Week 

Films on Practicing Democracy
Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story
Directed by Martin Doblmeier
Howard Thurman was an African-American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and a moral anchor for the Civil Rights Movement. This documentary shows his blend of mysticism and activism, which led him to be seen as the forefather of nonviolence in America. 

Directed by Joseph Dorman and Toby Perl Freilich

Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a four-term Democratic Senator from New York, a Harvard professor, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, an urbanologist, and a progressive liberal who worked under two conservative presidents. Watching this bold documentary, we witness Moynihan's determination and resilience in fighting for his political initiatives.  

Books on Practicing Democracy 
The Pursuit of American Character
By Rupert Wilkinson 
With great energy and cultural intensity, Wilkinson carries on in the tradition of Alexis de Tocqueville and Frederick Jackson Turner gathering insights and understandings of the United States and the diverse values which animate it.

Last Call for Liberty
By Os Guinness 
In order to deal with a nation rent asunder by different views of freedom, consumerism, war, disease, and environmental degradation, Guinness presents ten questions as a pathway to lead to the renewal of America's covenant with freedom.  
The Boy Who Touched the Stars
By José M. Hernández
Hernández was born into a migrant farm-working family from Mexico and followed his dream to become an astronaut, even though he spent much of his childhood traveling to work the fields and didn't learn English until he was 12 years old. In this bilingual book, he encourages readers to study hard and never give up.  
Discover more at PracticingDemocracy.net