Our Recipe for Unity

Learn—to Understand

“...Every American who ever lived, with the exception of one group, was either an immigrant himself or a descendant of immigrants.” ~ President John F. Kennedy, A Nation of Immigrants

And here’s some good, current news on the subject: “For a large majority of Americans, the country’s openness to people from around the world ‘is essential to who we are as a nation.’” (See Pew Research link, below.)

Our need for cultural awareness extends to new immigrants, but also our own past actions against fellow Americans and indigenous populations: Jim Crow Laws; the Chinese Exclusion Act; the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II; continuing abuses against Native Americans; and the ongoing debate about our southern border, Dreamers, and undocumented immigrants.

We invite you to read, explore, comment, and suggest other resources we might include here!


“We need to reform schools so they are more transformative and responsive for the diverse cultures and communities that exist.” - James A. Banks (Crosscut, Jun 26, 2018)

The poem inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor…” represents an unrealized ideal, according to this short history. (ThoughtCo, Apr 12, 2018)

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is changing its mission statement to eliminate a passage that describes the U.S. as "a nation of immigrants." (NPR, Feb 22, 2018)

Anti-Chinese attacks, The Exclusion Act, and housing and labor discrimination prevented Chinese Americans from assimilating into American culture. (HuffPost, Dec 6, 2017)

In this lesson, students use original Times reporting and other resources to investigate the forced internment of Japanese-Americans. (The New York Times, Dec 7, 2017)

Professor and author Karthick Ramakrishnan says, “There has always been a strain of people either scapegoating the other or trying to shut down immigration.” (Quartz, Feb 12, 2017)

During WWII, 120,000 Japanese-Americans were forced into camps, a government action that still haunts victims and their descendants. (Smithsonian Magazine, Jan 2017)

Trump’s call for 'total and complete' shutdown is a close cousin to President Chester Arthur’s signing of the Chinese Exclusion Act. (The Washington Post, Dec 8, 2015)

This article features a great infographic that demonstrates how hand motions, among other gestures, are culturally relative. (Business Insider, Mar 17, 2015)

Entrepreneur magazine (Jan 6, 2015)

Improve cross-cultural interactions in the workplace by understanding and embracing cultural differences.

A Nation of Immigrants by John F. Kennedy (Harper Perennial, reprint edition © 2008)

President John F. Kennedy's final book is a most worthy and relevant contribution to the contemporary debate on immigration reform.

It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers © 2009)

The bestselling children’s author implores, “Whether you're adopted, wear glasses, or eat macaroni and cheese in the tub, it's okay to be you!”

Teaching Strategies for Ethnic Studies by James A. Banks (Pearson, 8th Edition © 2008)

This seminal text helps teachers conceptualize, design, and implement a democratic, thoughtful, and just curriculum that honors and reflects the experiences of all Americans.

Hiring a diverse range of people across gender, age and cultural background can boost productivity, creativity, profits, employee engagement, and more.

Most colleges and universities have a Center for Multicultural Education and/or an Office of Diversity & Inclusion dedicated to advancing diversity, inclusion and equity, social justice, intergroup relations, and the like.

This is a two decade-long research project of Harvard University engaging students in studying the new religious diversity in the US.

Non-partisan, non-advocacy Pew Research Center reports that most Americans view openness to foreigners “essential to who we are as a nation.” (Oct 9, 2018)

This is not yet updated for 2019 but Diversity Best Practices (a division of Working Mother Media) has a comprehensive calendar of ethnic and religious holidays.

This tool is designed to increase awareness and respect for the array of religious, cultural and ethnic observances celebrated in our many and diverse communities. (by the ADL)

Share these intercultural facts with your students “to help them become more culturally aware, curious, open minded, respectful, and tolerant of others.” (We Are Teachers, Feb 13, 2017)

Scores of resources for K-12 teachers, including discussion guides, lesson plans and printables on heritage, immigration, equality, diversity, and more. (TeacherVision)

Here are resources for making classrooms and school resources more inclusive by connecting to and honoring students’ various cultures, experiences and backgrounds. (By Edutopia)

Tips from the American Management Association on how to manage the greater cultural diversity in today’s typical office.

Here are online resources for K-12 teachers looking to help their students embrace multiculturalism and diversity, curated by the team at Edutopia.

Strategies, lesson plans, and more for multicultural classrooms and anti-bias education from the Teaching Tolerance project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

From the time of the original Executive Order Jan 27, 2017 through multiple challenges, the ACLU is tracking the Muslim Ban.

Legislation known as Jim Crow laws separated people of color from whites in schools, housing, jobs, and public gathering places. (Smithsonian Institute)

Countering the “melting pot” notion, a voice arose in the US public debate on mass immigration insisting that there were too many newcomers and too much difference to assimilate.

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