| Program: || We're All On The Same Team Cultural Diversity Education Program, Phoenix, AZ |
| Contact(s): || Dee Hansberry, Staff Liaison: (602) 261-8938 |
| Purpose: || To promote the value of cultural diversity and to create opportunities for positive exchange among diverse groups of people |
The "We're All On The Same Team" Cultural Diversity Program (WAOTST) was created in November 1997 by the Phoenix Commission on Human Relations to focus and work with the city's growing diversity. Phoenix, the sixth-largest city in the United States, is experiencing racial and ethnic tensions due to the rapid changes in its demographics. The rapid growth in the number of minorities and immigrants has caused increased competition for jobs, widened the disparities between the rich and the poor, heightened racial tensions, increased tensions between minorities and police and caused a rise in hate crimes. WAOTST encourages Phoenix residents to embrace their differences and come together as "one team."
WAOTST targets its efforts at the grassroots level. It seeks to address incidents of hate crimes, negative portrayals of people of color in the media and race relations within the city. In the initial stage of the program, a three-year plan was developed to educate the community on diversity issues. Members from all sectors of the community were brought in to help set goals and objectives. Key programs and activities developed include: a cultural diversity directory of groups working to promote diversity in the city; a WAOTST task force meant to continuously monitor and address the community's needs; a WAOTST hotline for people who have questions on available resources or for people who want to report problems; a WAOTST newsletter, to keep the community informed of efforts underway; a cultural diversity training program; a speaker's bureau; and a diversity conference to connect people interested in working together. Also developed have been brochures and posters, publicity materials, public service announcements, and a Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Relations Commission Awards Program.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
In the last year, members of the speaker's bureau have made 17 presentations to more than 7,000 people, and the hotline has received 99 phone calls relating to diversity issues. More than 780 people have made a pledge to be involved with the WAOTST campaign. In addition, the WAOTST program has gained nine corporate sponsorships from companies that believe in the goals of the program.