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Valuing Diversity

This is a menu of the topics on this page (click on any): The Reality We See    reconciliation    Core Values   .

We have interest in matters of valuing diversity and its many related subjects (like reconciling racism). On January 26, 2001 I launched a website called Racematters.org which now has 1202 pages of content, including this one. It is an old style "static" website, but it has a lot of content. Later that year I bought the name ValuingDiversity.org expecting the website to migrate to a broader concern for diversity. While I've gathered lots of content and I've handled navigation and maintenance well, my style has not evolved beyond "static web pages".

All web content (and computer systems in general) are migrating towards what is variously called "virtual systems", or "cloud computing", or (other names....). My websites might be called web portals, but they are far less than what websites are becoming. Among the many modern platforms, one seems very promising and is in use here in Boca Raton by an important new nonprofit which I started: (Family Promise of South Palm Beach County). The platform we are using for that non-profit is called SalesForce.com. This system is both a website and the means by which we manage 400+ volunteers. It was designed and built by Dan Paulus who lives in Delray Beach. It is my belief "SalesForce.com" would be an excellent platform on which to launch an community website which would include the following:

A core requirement for this community asset would be that it is maintained by lots of volunteers adding or updating information in the particular area of their interest. Two stories in the Sun-Sentinal are relevant and worth reading. Palm Beach County getting "digital public square" and Content providers for the "digital public square".

I am imagining that students guided and taught by faculty could take this on as a project with great community benefit and a great learning experience that would help prepare them for careers in modern computer science. It could mean a lot to Family Promise that we are broadening the community of people who can maintain our systems. If this interests you, I'd love to come to your office to talk about it at your earliest convenience. I have already secured licenses for the use of SalesForce.com software that will allow 10 computers to be in use. This was done on a temporary basis thru the national office of Family Promise. Another non-profit could presumably secure an additional 10 licenses free that would belong to it "permanently".

The Reality We See

We are being given the gift of wealth unparalleled in the history of our planet (the current meltdown notwithstanding). Forty years ago we were astonished at the power of a Univac computer that was as big as a home. Today we can find the same computing power in a device the size of a Palm Pilot. We can fly to the moon; we've cured diseases; we take for granted extraordinary luxury in personal transportation vehicles. Some of us have built immense personal fortunes; hundreds of millions of us enjoy a middle class life with great opportunity. All this is possible because we live on a planet rich in resources and because we have the ability to make the most of those resources.

Perhaps the opportunity for accumulating individual wealth was essential to this prosperity. But in the process vast numbers of us have been left behind and despite our good intent vast numbers of us do not have the skills to share in our prosperity. Some fear we are not moving towards a just planet, a fair planet, or a planet that is safe even for the privileged among us.

We feel that the time has come to assure basic human rights of safety, shelter, food, education and personal choice for all of us. We want to begin in our community the process to make these rights available to all people and we feel we should start with the most vulnerable among us. We also feel that our process must have the possibility of fundamental change in the availability of opportunity.

holdinghands It is possible that, as Why Religion Matters, by Huston Smith argues, the next great accomplishments of humankind will be in getting along with each other. Certainly the Civil Rights movement and its aftermath have set the stage for transformational change. While mankind may have been more destructive in the past century than in any prior century, humankind also has risen to unprecedented acts of reconciliation. Events in the Truth & Reconciliation Commission the apologies of the Mission Of Reconciliation are examples.

Core Values

We share a short list of core values.

These articles are among the many that have prompted these thoughts.


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