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If you have questions or suggestions for topics, please submit to Tatyana Fertelmeyster

NIEAPA members shall seek to develop an awareness of their own personal and cultural values and beliefs as one way of appreciating the importance of multicultural identities in our own lives and in the lives of those we serve. NIEAPA members shall have and continue to develop specialized knowledge and understanding about the values, traditions and systems of all employees at the workplaces they serve."

By: Emily Henry LCSW, CADC, SAP Qualified 

The month of October celebrates a variety of local, national and international commemorative events.  A very few of these are:  Global Diversity Awareness Month, LGBT History Month, World Mental Health Day, and Oct. 12th, 2023 is designated a Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity, evolving out of the awareness that indigenous communities have offered which shows a different perspective of the colonial history in the Americas. 

In this month's message I have chosen to discuss what I think is one of the most effective ways to develop and enhance a person's ability to be open and appreciative of other cultures. This is travel. There are a multitude of quotes from famous and not so famous people all over the world regarding the benefits of travel. The good thing about travel is that you don't have to travel far to gain these benefits. A different neighborhood in your home city, a rural area vs. the city or vice versa, a different state, etc. The extra benefits you gain from going farther is that you tend to stay longer and the longer you stay, the more you can immerse yourself in a different community. This immersion can lead to more understanding and, usually, appreciation of the community. Following are some of my favorite quotes of the benefits of travel in developing cultural competence or fluency.

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."  Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends." Maya Angelou 

"When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable." Clifton Fadiman

"The end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time."  T.S. Eliot

"Don't tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you traveled." Mohammed

"Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness." Ray Bradbury

I made the last quote about one of the best characteristics of travel: fun! When you allow yourself to get lost by letting go of some of your own ideas of the 'right way' or the 'right ideas' and open yourself to other perspectives, you are more likely to experience a sense of wonder and joy. The great thing is that you can do this close to home: in gatherings with different people in your home community, at work, at school, at professional conferences and, really, whenever you are in a group of people when you can approach them with: 'A Beginner's Mentality.' 


Following is the beginning of a list of films, plays, books, TV shows, music - any artistic expression more or less that touches on issues of diversity. If you have suggestions, please email them to the Diversity Committee via Scott Janson


Get Out - Directed by Jordan Peele
A young African-American visits his white girlfriend's parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling pointClick here for discussion notes.


HIR - written by Taylor MacEm Grosland, Amy Morton, Ty Olwin and Francis GuinanPhoto Michael Brosilow
After a dishonorable discharge from the military for drug-related offenses, Isaac returns home from Afghanistan, expecting to confront his abusive father, protect his mother and sister, and relax into his old bedroom. His expectations are dashed, as he walks into a different kind of chaos. Click here for write up of performance provided by Scott Cullen-Benson.

(Photo Information: 
Em Grosland, Amy Morton, Ty Olwin and Francis Guinan/Photo: Michael Brosilow)

Northern Illinois Chapter Employee Assistance Professionals Association (NIEAPA)

Address: 400 E. Randolph #3115, Chicago. IL 60601
Phone: +1 (312) 756-7756
Email: nieapa@corpevent.com

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