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Living with the “isms” - Succeeding and Excelling Against the Odds

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Living a Richer Life

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THIS WEEK'S MESSAGE: The “isms” most common in American daily dialogue include sexism, racism, individualism and cynicism.  However, there are over 200 different “isms.” Each term and its associated thoughts and actions represent a philosophical, political or moral doctrine or a belief system.  In the United States today, our society’s philosophies, politics and belief systems vary in many ways and for many reasons. Some positions taken are viewed as essential to our country’s democracy. Most are honesty embraced by passionate believers. However, they all have at least one thing in common. They generally find a way to discriminate, in some form, against other Americans. Americans who, in spite of the realities, must also strive to live a full life.  How have Americans historically succeeded and excelled against such odds?

Matthew C. Whitaker, Ph.D. is currently ASU Foundation Professor of History and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.  He holds a BA in sociology and a BA in history from Arizona State University and a Ph.D. in history from Michigan State University. He specializes in U.S. history, African American history and life, civil rights, race relations, social movements, sports and society, and the American West. He is also the owner and CEO of The Whitaker Group, LLC, a human relations, cultural competency, and diversity consulting firm. He is the author of a new book titled, Peace Be Still: Modern Black America from World War II to Barack Obama.” 

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