Intercultural Harmony
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Welcome to the Intercultural Harmony Project

Harmony results from individuals and groups communicating successfully and overcoming the differences, tensions and conflicts of daily life. Like in music, harmonious coexistence incorporates the sounds and voices of many. Harmony allows for occasional dissonance, but overall, the melody prevails.

Emilia E. Martinez-Brawley, Professor of Social Work
and John F. Roatch Distinguished Community Service Scholar
Project Director


OVERVIEW

The purpose of the Intercultural Harmony Project was to arrive at a basic curriculum for harmonious coexistence that could be shared with individuals and groups involved in educational or community affairs.


A group of community leaders of various ethnic groups, cultures and faiths met at a retreat to discuss how individuals are influenced by their own cultures, values, norms and ways of behaving. The group members needed to practice harmonious co-existence as they analyzed how they received the messages of other cultures, languages, religions and points of view and how they could use those messages to create harmony or to fuel disharmony. The result of the meetings was the development of a curriculum incorporating principles of intercultural dialogue and harmonious co-existence selected from research and practice. The curriculum not only offers principles and related concepts as the backbone for action but incorporates practical step-by-step exercises that can be adapted to help individuals or groups practice meaningful dialogue among very different groups.


We offer this curriculum in the hope that individuals or groups consulting it will make a commitment to understanding why so many of us have difficulties relating to people different from ourselves and, more importantly, that they will take steps to remediate the situation. Our panel of experts recognized that harmony lies beyond words and appreciated that it requires more than mere formalities. Our community leaders echoed the words of many in articulating great hope for the children while recognizing that they, too, must practice harmony. If we are to resolve some of the tensions we face, we need to take steps beyond differences and move toward reconciling them in ways that can enhance all the citizens of the world.

 

 

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