Category Archives: About Us

About the American Diversity Report

Storm Volunteers Highlight Cultural Differences — by Beate Ziehres

I started to write this article while I was waiting to board a plane to Germany, my native country. My topic is helpfulness. I want to define the cultural differences around giving assistance between members of different nations. I want to share a few experiences here in the United States. They show a level of caring that’s really new to me.

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My German Grandma’s Busy Life for her Church – by Beate Ziehres

My grandmother Hilda passed away when she was 95 years old. Her funeral was one of the most impressive events I‘ve ever joined. According to my feeling, all the citizens of her and my hometown had come to the cemetery. She was born and she died at the same small town in Northern Bavaria, Germany, which might have been one reason for her fame. She had never left her hometown longer than for a day trip. Another occasion could have been the way she decided to spend her time and live her life.

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Bavarian in the US Southeast – by Beate Ziehres

Members of the European culture usually have a settled way of life. In their eyes, Americans are admirable models of mobility. If in Germany, where I come from, a person becomes unemployed, he will look for a new job in his ancestral city first. Only when that is unsuccessful will reach out to other parts of Germany to look for a new career. Or not, it depends on lots of circumstances. People are ingrained in their communities. Visiting is easier than moving and nobody has to take an airplane to visit friends and family. To cross Germany by car even at its widest point will take you nine hours.

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A German’s Thoughts on American Values – by Beate Ziehres

As a German, I never thought deeply about the things that American people value. I heard about their preference for comfortable footwear and that they love burgers. When I moved to Chattanooga, I realized it’s true.  Lots of folks wear tennis-shoes, no matter if it is with jeans, slacks or skirts.  And as an almost vegetarian, I learned to value juicy grilled beef.  I’m sure I will miss that back in Germany.  After two years living in the US, I notice more differences between the attitudes of American and German people than I had imagined

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Cultural Encounters of a Growing Kind — Christopher Bear Beam

One of the richest adventures I’ve had in my adult life was the cultural encounters working as a resident chaplain in an urban setting.  I worked for two years for a major hospital system in Houston, Texas.  This hospital system had a mission statement of serving its diverse community and offering appropriate pastoral care.  What I came to understand from this work experience was the incredible ethnic diversity as well as the religious diversity represented by patients in the hospital.  I learned this as I made my rounds through the ER, ICU, Ambulatory Care, and other surgical units.

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Be Grateful for Religious Diversity — by Michelle Findlay

The night atmosphere is alive with colour and sound. Vibrant costumes adorn humble people as they dance to ward of evil spirits. Bright fires cast a warm glow; the balmy warmth of incense caresses the air. Our spirits soar. This is a traditional Buddhist festival in Nepal. Contrast this with another scenario I experienced:  Before we alight the bus in Beijing we are told not to ask questions. We are told not to mention anything political. We giggle and laugh, every one of us thinks it’s a joke. But our guide tells us again firmly, he is 100% serious. We could get arrested and thrown in prison and that is no laughing matter.

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Simple Diversity and Inclusion Actions – by Simma Lieberman

Here are three no-cost, very simple diversity management practices you can begin today. You may think that these are so obvious, you don’t need to be told, but I want you to be aware of whether or not you practice these with people who are very different than you, or who you don’t know. It’s easy to greet the same people every day, however, I’m suggesting you move out of your comfort zone. You’ll rapidly notice your comfort zone expanding as well as employee participation and creativity.

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Male and Female in God’s Name – by Micki Peluso

Religion has long institutionalized the subservience of women. Today’s woman fights for tangible equity as a way of claiming equality, but will never fully succeed until the root of the problem, religion, either alters its interpretation, or is no longer considered a reputable source of societal authority. Because religion structures the family, hence society, the elimination of sexism must proceed concurrently with the eradication of archaic attitudes within the churches, and servile innuendoes within the home.

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