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toward EQUALITY : EXPLORING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE : From the Editors : This Just a Beginning

February 13, 1989

Racial, ethnic and religious discrimination can be found in every facet of American life, from the corporate board room to the school playground. Yet, it is one of those topics that people do not like to discuss. Hate is difficult to measure. Unless it boils over into a publicly ugly act, it goes largely uncharted.

Without such a measure, it is difficult to spotlight ways to eliminate discrimination. This report illuminates divergent viewpoints from multi-ethnic Southern California and is guide for those looking for how to combat bias.

The report was planned in conjunction with an effort by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith to raise awareness in Southern California of racial, ethnic and religious discrimination. The campaign, called "A World of Difference," has been launched in Detroit, Boston, San Francisco and New York City. In some of the communities, the drive has led to school and community programs.

You'll hear a lot about this yearlong campaign--through special programming on KCBS-TV, through corporate-sponsored publicity drives, through church and synagogue events--about our sensitivities and insensitivities. If the year is successful, we will take a second look at the textbooks our children use in school, at the kind of language we use, at the need to expand our knowledge to understand how and why groups other than our own might react as they do.

There also are things you will not hear in this section and in the campaign. The ADL has designed its campaign around problems of race, religion and ethnic background. The ADL acknowledges that there are other serious discrimination problems--affecting women, homosexuals, older people, people with disabilities. But because of limited resources, the ADL decided to limit its scope hoping that its campaign should be a starting point.

So this section has accepted those limitations, with the knowledge that there are plenty of problems where these came from.

Copies of this report are available on a limited basis from The Times public relations department at (213) 237-5782. For those who want to get involved in the ADL's World of Difference project, contact Janet Himler, campaign coordinator, at (213) 655-8205.

This section includes listings of whom to call for more information about how to battle discrimination in Southern California.

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