Diversity Foundation, Inc. is committed to bridging the gaps between people of all cultures and ethnicity. Our mission is to build and create interaction and dialogue between diverse cultures, sharing meaningful common inclusive society where the gap between people of all colors and races in this country is bridged.
State of need:
All over the state of Minnesota, people of good intent struggle to create an inclusive peaceful society but seem unable to bridge the barriers of race, culture and conditioning. By the nature of past patterns of existence, most people have little experience in cross cultural and intercultural communication and collaboration. Few know how to take the first steps in establishing communication and even fewer can maintain the initiative. Often this inexperience causes more harm than good in spite of honorable intentions.
History: Diversity Foundation, Inc. was begun by a group of professionals dedicated to using their expertise in providing a network of human resources that could educate, enlighten, and entertain communities to help create peaceful interactions between diverse cultures. The Foundation has evolved into an organization with three main project areas including multimedia intercultural education, liaison support to organizations involved in multicultural and disability awareness initiatives, and system support to minority artists, entertainers, speakers, and musicians.
In the fall of 1997 Diversity Foundation, Inc. was determined exempt from federal tax under 501 (3) (c) and 170 (b) (A) (vi) as a single-source, intercultural networking group. The group was designed to:
educate and inform the general public about diversity,
provide multicultural and diversity training for businesses, schools, civic groups and other private and public organizations,
provide a variety of services such as personal counseling, vocational testing and training, legal counseling, work therapy, school scholarships/individuals to achieve social and economic independence.
It is our intention to develop Diversity Foundation, Inc, as a platform from which to launch programs that will motivate, mediate, and facilitate empowerment as well as serve as a clearinghouse for peaceful and positive spite of them. The foundation will serve as a catalyst to redefine humanity through diversity.
1. To educate, inform, and motivate the general public about diversity through the use of seminars and workshops including media documentation in collaboration with minority organizations and other multiculturally focused foundations and organizations.
The Foundation has developed an extensive network of human resources both national and international, that can provide consultation and education in intercultural relations tailored to the needs of both public and private organizations. We are developing a variety of seminars, conferences and workshops entitled, 'Finding Opportunities in Diverse Communities' which will be based on the needs of each participating community around Minnesota. Two such seminars are scheduled for St. Cloud and Mankato for the spring of 1998 with several other communities expressing strong interest.
The productions component is also an important venue for the foundation. It is a multicultural video production team dedicated to enabling diverse populations to achieve greater social and economic independence through the use of affordable media technology. This team will provide documentary films and promotional videos for service agencies that, in the past, have not been able to afford such mass media programming. It will also documentary Diversity Foundations own seminars and workshops, thus expanding the Foundation's educational services.
There are also plans to offer scholarships and internships to encourage minorities to consider the video/media industry.
2. To provide intercultural and disability awareness liaison support to public organizations striving to improve their cultural understanding and diversity by providing training and a variety of services such as personal counseling, vocational testing and training, legal mediation, advocacy, and job counseling, placement, and follow-up support.
Diversity Foundation, Inc. has begun a variety of projects that involve long term, more intensive consultation and support to provide much needed services for minority populations. To this end, Diversity Foundation. Inc. is seeking funding to provide liaison support in the areas of professional employment of persons of colors and persons with disabilities. This includes the areas of public service (law enforcement and education), mental health, legal advocacy and mediation, and job counseling and placement.
Once each area has established a ongoing program of services, there will be opportunities for internships to provide opportunities for minorities and experience for others in the area of diversity and cross cultural interactions.
3. To provide a support system for minority artists, entertainers, speakers, and musicians which can provide guidance in funding, exposure, and networking across Minnesota and the US.
Diversity Foundation, Inc. is developing a process to organize and promote intercultural and multicultural events, concerts, fund raisers, exhibits, art shows, etc. around the schools, colleges, and community centers of greater Minnesota. These plans include areas such as St. Cloud, Mankato, Moorhead, Bemidji, Duluth, Rochester, Winona, Willmar, and Brainerd, etc.
There are also plans to provide a variety of services that are accessible to minority artists, entertainers, and speakers in order to support their careers. The program calls for grant seeking consultation, grant writing, technology access, legal advocacy, promotional videos, representation in appearances, and sales and marketing. Staff internships are also planned for this program.