| Program: || Community Cousins, Encinitas, CA |
| Contact(s): || Diane Bock: (760) 944-2899 |
| Purpose: || To promote friendship among people of different backgrounds by encouraging interaction between individual families |
The idea for Community Cousins began in 1992 as a result of the violence that had taken place in Los Angeles in 1992. The program is designed to affect the attitudes and behaviors of people towards those they tend to stereotype. By bringing together individuals and families, adults and children are taught about the merits of diversity.
The Community Cousins Program brings together two families of different races in a setting conducive to dialogue. Families are matched with at least two Cousins families according to similarities in geographic location, family composition, interest and hobbies. Families are paired with one family having children slightly younger than the other family. The families are introduced and encouraged to interact with each other in any manner that suits their schedules. They meet for meals and parties, baseball games and movies, and through these meetings and the subsequent dialogue, they form a bond that helps to destroy any stereotypes held. Families are encouraged to work together once a year to benefit a third party or philanthropy. Periodically, all the families participating in the program get together for an event where new Cousins and ongoing Cousins are introduced.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
Over 200 families have participated in the Community Cousins Program. After completing the program families have continued to keep in contact and teach their children about the value of diversity. Once families get involved, they have tended to include other members of their family which helps the program grow each day.