Our story

This series springs from the idea that good journalism should increase cross-cultural competence and understanding. Most of our guides are created by Michigan State University journalism students.

We use journalistic interviews to surface the simple, everyday questions that people have about each other but might be afraid to ask. We use research and reporting to get the answers and then put them where people can find them, read them and learn about each other.

These cultural competence guides are meant to be conversation starters. We want people to use these guides to get some base-line understanding and to feel more comfortable asking more questions. We put a guide to resources in every guide we make, we arrange community conversations and we are working on a facilitation guide. While the guides can answer questions in private, they are meant to spark discussions.

Making these has taught us that people are not that different from each other. People share more similarities than differences. We all want the same things for ourselves and for our families. We want to be accepted, respected and understood.

Please email your thoughts and suggestions to Series Editor Joe Grimm at joe.grimm@gmail.com, at the Michigan State University School of Journalism.

4 Responses to Our story

  1. Lory Valuet says:

    This is great! Heard about it on NPR this afternoon.
    How about doing one about persons with mental health concerns?

    • Joe Grimm says:

      That is a great idea and is on “our list.” A couple of issues we have talked about: When (of course) and whether or how to approach this vast issue. Is one guide enough? And if it is not, how do we parse it. Thanks for the comment?

  2. Marie Strang says:

    I would like to see one about atheists and also one about modern Pagans. Both groups are misunderstood and often vilified. I’m even more rare since I consider myself an atheo-Pagan. Unlike many Pagan, I don’t believe in deities, but I still base my spirituality on nature. I’m not the only atheo-Pagan out there, either. Sometimes we are called Humanistic Pagans or Naturalistic Pagans.

    • Joe Grimm says:

      Thanks for the suggestion. We opened up the religion area with Muslims and Jews (out in March, 2016). We try to cover subjects that are in the news. We are doing a guide about immigrants to the U.S. for the 2016 election and plan one about transgender people for the fall, based on news coverage of these groups. We will be back to religion. We have several on our list. The top contenders as of this moment are Christians, Mormons and people who are not religiously affiliated, a rapidly growing group.

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