| Program: || Tools for Tolerance for Professionals, Biet Hashoah Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, CA |
| Contact(s): || Liebe Geft, Director: (310) 843-0017 |
| Purpose: || To provide a diversity-awareness program for professionals who are striving to meet the needs of their organizations and the communities they serve |
In 1994, the Biet Hashoah Museum of Tolerance established the Tools for Tolerance for Professionals training course as a two-year pilot program under a grant from the James Irvine Foundation. For 1997, the program has operated without grant funding, and organizers have begun to develop plans for expansion. The goals of the program are to raise the awareness of intolerance using the museum's resources and to help professionals--including law enforcement officers, educators, attorneys, city employees, health care providers and social workers--become more sensitive to their clients' needs.
Tools for Tolerance is a day-long seminar presented to professionals as a means for them to develop the tools that will best equip them to meet the needs of their clients. The program begins with a special tour of the Museum of Tolerance, providing professionals with a historical context for understanding prejudice and opening the avenues for discussing personal experiences. They are forced to examine their cultural beliefs and confront all of the external influences that may shape their perspectives. Instead of introducing concrete behaviors on how to act around people of different cultures (which tends to reinforce stereotypical behaviors), the program develops the tools for responsible decision-making and free speech in a diverse, professional environment. The facilitators aid the professionals in discerning the relevance of these issues within their particular fields. Participants identify the problems they encounter and use their collective knowledge to deal with these challenges.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
Over this past year, Tools for Tolerance has trained over 10,000 professionals. The program has established a contract with the state of California to provide training to 7,000 law enforcement officials every year, in addition to several smaller contracts with health care providers and educators. The program requires that all participants fill out a questionnaire upon the completion of the training. From these evaluations, the program has identified a need to expand the training from one day to two.