Toward a More Perfect Union
in an Age of Diversity


Organizations and Networks

  • Civic Organizations
  • History and Culture

    Can you suggest additional resources for dealing with diversity issues,
    either on the Internet or in the real world?

    Please e-mail your suggestions, so we can include them in the AMPU Web site!

  • Civic Organizations

    The following is only a sampling of the many committed, experienced individuals and organizations working around the nation to build community, promote civic dialogue, and combat prejudice. All offer assistance to the public and can also provide referrals.

    To seek assistance or information regarding racial prejudice or discrimination, here are some ideas.

    American Friends Service Committee
    1501 Cherry Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19102
    215/241-7000; fax 215/241-7275

    AFSC regions around the country provide many different programs and services related to understanding and addressing the root causes opf poverty, injustice and war. Contact the national office or regional offices in Cambridge, MA, Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, Des Moines, Seattle, Pasadena or the San Francisco Bay Area for information.

    A World of Difference Institute
    Anti-Defamation League

    823 United Nations Plaza
    New York, NY 10017
    212/885-7800; fax 212/490-0187

    Creates and distributes educational materials that focus on issues of diversity. Developed by leading educators, the materials are designed to promote self-esteem and provide students with the tools to become competent citizens.

    Alliance For National Renewal
    National Civic League

    1445 Market Street, suite 300
    Denver, Colorado 80202-1728

    A network of more than 150 community-building organizations working to address the serious issues facing America and its communities. Founded in 1994, the Alliance is a unique resource that can quickly link you to some of the most important and innovative organizations working to revitalize our society. Also inquire about The Kitchen Table Quarterly Newsletter and booklets on special projects.

    Center for Living Democracy
    RR #1 Black Fox Road
    Brattleboro, VT 05301
    802/254-1234; fax 802/254-1227

    The Center promotes the ideas, skills, and practices of democracy. Contact the Center to learn about its new American News Service, interactive television series called "Grassroots Journal," training workshops, guides and action tools available through the Learning Center, Learning Tools Catalog, and more.

    Civic Network Television
    21 Dupont Circle, 4th Floor
    Washington DC 20036
    800/746-6286; fax 202/887-5901

    CNT uses technology to help the civic community deal more effectively with today's problems. Working in tandem with community sites around the country, CNT links people in a single electronic classroom, town meeting, workshop or conference. Call to inquire about CNT sites in your area or to become affiliated with the network.

    Civic Practices Network
    Melissa Bass, Center for Human Resources
    Brandeis University
    60 Turner Street
    Waltham MA 02154
    617/736-4890; fax 617/736-3733

    An online journal that brings together innovators and educators to share the tools, stories, and best practices of community empowerment and civic renewal. Contact CPN or log on to its website to learn about civic work and learning taking place around the country: real life stories, practical tools, essays, studies, manuals and more.

    Hope in the Cities
    1103 Sunset Avenue
    Richmond, VA 23221
    804/358-1764; fax 804/358-1769

    The success of interracial work in Richmond, VA led to Hope in the Cities' national initiative to "heal the heart of America" through honest conversation on race, reconciliation and responsibility. Citizens in cities around the country are signing up. Publications, videos, networking, support services, and more are available.

    Libraries for the Future
    121 W. 27th Street, Suite 1102
    New York, NY 10001
    212/352-2330; fax 212/352-2342

    LFF is dedicated to raising public awareness of and involvement in the public library. Viewing the public library as "workshop for democracy," LFF initiates numerous programs to ensure the future of America's libraries and to connect libraries to their communities and other vital institutions of civic involvement and learning.

    The National Association for Community Mediation
    1726 M Street, N.W., Suite 500
    Washington, D.C. 20036-4502
    202/467-6226; fax 202/466-4769

    NAFCM participants include community mediation programs and volunteer mediators who seek to engage more citizens in resolving their own problems and conflicts. Ask about NAFCM's new 1996 Community Mediation Directory if you want to know where community mediation is occurring across the United States.

    The National Conference
    71 Fifth Avenue
    New York, NY 10003
    212/206-0006; fax 212/255-6177

    The National Conference (founded in 1927 as The National Conference of Christians and Jews) is a human relations organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry and racism in America. Contact the national office or one of the many state branches for information about public programs, publications and school curriculum.

    National Institute for Dispute Resolution
    1726 M St., NW, Suite 500
    Washington, DC 20036-4502
    202/466-4764; fax 202/466-4769

    A national center of expertise, resources, and technical assistance on consensus building and conflict resolution. NIDR helps both providers and consumers of these services deepen their respective capacities to use consensus building and conflict resolution tools effectively. NIDR's Collaborative Communities Program focuses on helping communities use these powerful tools in pursuit of sustainability.

    National Issues Forums
    100 Commons Road
    Dayton, OH 45459-2777
    800/433-7834; fax 513/439-9804

    NIF publishes issue booklets to aid balanced discussion on important social issues, such as immigration, poverty, the economy, education, etc. The material is geared for use in classroom debates, group discussions, individual reading, preparation of speeches and term papers, and community forums. Call NIF to inquire about the booklets and other publications and programs.

    Study Circles Resource Center
    Box 203, Rte. 169
    Pomfret, Ct 06258
    860/928-2616; fax 860/928-2713

    The Study Circle Resource Center (SCRC) helps communities use study circles -- small, democratic, highly participatory discussions -- to involve large numbers of citizens in public dialogue and problem-solving on critical issues such as crime, race, education, and youth issues. SCRC staff members work with community leaders at every stage of creating a community-wide study circle program; helping organizers network between communities; working to develop strong coalitions within communities; advising on material development; and writing letters of support for funding proposals. SCRC also provides free discussion materials to organizers of carefully-designed community-wide study circle programs. Please call for more information

    History and Culture Organizations

    Do you want to draw on history and culture to enrich your conversations? Poetry and literature, films, music, art, oral histories and more all provide great food for thought and talk.

    Public libraries are good places to start your search for background and discussion materials. In addition to the written word, many libraries also house films and videos, oral histories, local history materials, and more. Also check state archives for oral histories, and local history museums and historical societies to learn about the exhibits, publications and educational programs they have to offer. Call local public radio stations for copies of feature stories that relate to your issues. Talk to staff at your state humanities or arts councils to learn about artists, speakers, public programs, and publications. Fees may be involved, but they are likely to be modest.

    The following is a selected list of some specialized resources:

    American Folklife Center
    The Library of Congress
    Washington, D.C. 20540-4610
    Reference Service 202/707-5510
    Administrative Office 202/707-6590

    Created by Congress to preserve and present American folklife, the Center incorporates an archive of music and other ethnographic materials, and undertakes a wide variety of public programs, exhibitions, training and other efforts. Contact the Center about its own facilities and programs, and also for information about your topics of interest.

    306 Madison Street
    Whitesburg, KY 41858
    606/633-0108; fax 606/633-1009

    Founded in 1969, Appalshop is the place to call for works on Appalachian culture and social issues. Appalshop is a quality producer of films, television, theater, music, media training workshops, community festivals and more.

    Association of Hispanic Arts (AHA)
    173 East 116th Street
    New York, NY 10029
    212/860-5445; fax 212/427-2787

    AHA is dedicated to the advancement of Latino arts, artists and arts organizations as an integral part of the cultural life of the nation. Contact AHA for information about its own programs and publications, and also for referrals.

    Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)
    Attn: Cultural Arts Program
    2651 Saulino Court
    Dearborn, MI 48120
    313/842-7010; fax 313/842-5150

    ACCESS aims to foster greater understanding of Arab culture as it exists both here and in the Arab world. Contact the Cultural Arts Program for information, educational materials, and consulation. "Culture Kits" -- containing aids for discussions about Arab history, culture, and contemporary life -- are available for loan.

    Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies
    18 South Seventh Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19106

    The Balch Institute has long promoted greater intergroup understanding through its research, museum and public programs about American ethnicity. In Philadelphia, contact the Institute about library resources, exhibits and educational programs. Outside the region, inquire about catalogs and publications.

    Center for the Study of Southern Culture
    University, MS 38677

    If you are seeking information, books, films, and other resources on Southern history and culture, the Center is an important resource. Its Encylopedia of Southern Culture was published by Chapel Hill Press in 1989, and is available in bookstores.

    City Lore
    72 East First Street
    New York, NY 10003
    800/333-5982; fax 212/529-5062

    Publisher of the mail order Culture Catalog, containing over 120 books and audiovisual materials for use in the classroom and at home. American ethnicities, oral history, music, folklore and community studies are all included. Teachers seeking referrals, materials and consultation may want to contact City Lore's Center for Folkarts in Education at Bank St. College of Education, 212/875-4575.

    Elder Share the Arts
    57 Willoughby Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11201

    An innovator in connecting generations and cultures through "living history arts." In New York, contact ESTA to learn about programs in schools and senior centers. Outside the region, contact ESTA to receive publications and training manuals, and learn about nationwide professional training services.

    Facing History and Ourselves
    16 Hurd Road
    Brookline, MA 02146

    Facing History and Ourselves helps students make connections between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives. Lessons of the Holocaust and other examples of genocide are used to help students and teachers examine racism, prejudice and antisemitism. For programs and publications, contact the national office in Brookline, MA, or branch offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York and San Francisco.

    Museum of the Chinese in the Americas
    70 Mulberry Street
    New York, NY 10013
    212/619-4785; fax 212/619-4720

    A key resource for exhibitions, programs, and information regarding the experience of the Chinese in the Americas. The Museum itself is located in Manhattan's Chinatown, but its interests and concerns extend more broadly, and seek to incorporate the Chinese experience into the larger American history.

    Museum of Tolerance
    9786 West Pico Boulevard
    Los Angeles, CA 90035

    A unique museum and educational center, founded in 1993 to challenge visitors to confront bigotry and racism, and to understand the Holocaust. Numerous exhibits and programs focus on the creation of prejudice, on contemporary issues, and on the Holocaust. The Museum is the educational arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international center for Holocaust rememberance, the defense of human rights and the Jewish people. Contact the Wiesenthal Center at 310/553-9036; fax 310/553-4521.

    National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center
    1350 Brush Row Road
    Wilberforce, OH 45384

    Opened in 1988, the Center is the only Congressionally-chartered African American museum in the nation. Its mission is to educate the public about African American history and culture. Contact the Museum for information about its facilities, programs and publications, and for referrals.

    National Endowment for the Humanities
    1100 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20506
    Public Information Office (202) 606-8400
    Division of Public Programs (202) 606-8267
    NEH Main # 800-NEH-1121; TDD (202) 606-8282

    The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency that supports research, education, preservation projects and public programs in the humanities. In addition to granting funds, NEH and its State Humanities Councils are valuable resources for information about programs, speakers, publications, exhibitions and more that explore American history and culture. Inquire about the bibliographies, conversation kits, resource guides, radio programs and more that were produced by grantees as part of the recent initiative called the "National Conversation on American Pluralism and Identity."

    Oral History Association
    P.O. Box 97234
    Baylor University
    Waco, TX 76798-7234

    Contact the OHA for leads to oral history collections and publications that feature your region or topic of interest.

    Texas Folklife Resources
    P.O. Box 49824
    Austin, TX 78765
    512/320-0022; fax 512/320-8164

    TFR presents, preserves, and promotes the folk arts and folklife of Texas, focusing on the artistic heritage of all Texans. Contact TFR to learn about their concert tours, radio programs, and traveling exhibits and workshops.

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