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UPCOMING DIVERSITY CONVERSATIONS - Members Only

Stay tuned for upcoming conversation information. We are creating our program and will post soon!

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."

NOVEMBER DIVERSITY MESSAGE

Written by Bill Heffernan LCPC, CEAP

I met two old friends for a meal today. We asked each other about health issues, bragged about our kids, and talked (only a little) about work. I love them; they are decent, intelligent people with loving spouses and spectacular children. Each of them has an advanced degree in a human services discipline. They are the exact opposite of me politically. I think of myself as a little to the side of the center line politically, and I perceive them as extreme in the opposite direction. There are many important issues about which we strongly disagree. When I talk with those who share my political views about my meal and conversation with these old friends, they get agitated and angry. They say, “How could you be friends with people who believe the things they believe?” “I am glad I wasn’t there!” or “I can’t believe educated people can believe the things they believe!” I understand those sentiments. My political beliefs are, I believe, aligned with my values and consistent with my behavior. 

 If I had to guess, I suspect my friends believe that they are a little to the side of the center line politically and that I am extreme in the opposite direction. When they discuss our meal with those close to them who share their beliefs, I assume they say, “How could you be friends with someone who believes the things that person believes?” or “I can’t believe an educated person can believe the things that person believes!”

 Can I have a relationship with people who hold beliefs different from mine? Can we be friends if you and I hold different views on abortion, racial justice, housing justice, climate change, and presidential candidates? Can we talk about our beliefs and maintain regard for one another, or must we separate into our camps? What number of ideas must be shared to belong to a particular “us”, and what happens if my beliefs change? Must I find a new group, and where and how does that stop?

The holidays are upon us; how will you handle these issues? I would be interested in hearing your thoughts! 

Please check out Braver Angels to see how they address our current political world:

Braver Angels seeks to depolarize American politics. Our work is rooted in grassroots organizing. From the grassroots, however, our volunteer leaders (supported by a small staff) leverage Braver Angels programs and unique organizing structure to impact community life and American institutions.

www.braverangels.org


RESOURCE LIST

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

FILM

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.

THEATER

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 #2305, Chicago. IL 60601
Phone: +1 (312) 756-7756
Email: nieapa@corpevent.com

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