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Owen Arden Susan Boatright PSY 113 2/24/20 Multiculturalism and Diversity As the modern world progresses, society all around us is becoming increasingly more diverse as people are exposed to customs and cultures that are often very different from the environment that they were raised in. In modern America, we are constantly exposed to new cultures and customs, as we have been the subject to immigration for the past 50 years. Due to the diverse nature of America, many of its citizens are often subject to other cultures and practices and are often unaware that they are even embracing cultures that they know little about. In this day and age it is important for people to have cultural awareness , meaning they have the ability to step aside from their own personal bias and reflect upon what their own cultural beliefs, values, and perceptions are, and how they relate or contrast with different people in different parts of the world. It is important for undergraduates to be more culturally aware because it will allow them to travel the world, conduct business in other countries, and generally be more diverse. This will prevent them from believing in ethnocentrism, which is when an individual inherently believes that their own ethnic group or culture is superior to others. Although people come from different places all over the world, we are all human beings who come together to form a single, unified society for the collective good of our world. Students need to learn to respect the differences between us, because it is our differences that makes us unique, and allows us to have easier interactions with each other.Currently in the United States, there are many events being discussed that are highly relevant to the URI Psychology departments multicultural mission statement; and sadly most of these events are in connection with our current president, Donald Trump. Since he has come into office, Donald Trump has made many quotes and taken many actions that could be considered very ethnocentric, and a lot of people from other cultures have ill feelings towards him for these reasons. Recently, Donald Trump has been adamant about the construction of his “wall” which he believes will significantly decrease illegal immigration in America, but from other viewpoints, this action is the opposite of a good idea. Donald Trump has been quoted many times about his distrust of “Mexicans”, as he initially wanted the Mexican people to be the ones who constructed the massive wall between the US and Mexico. This action is very extreme considering the majority of the Mexican people entering our country are doing so legally, and are in fact not illegal immigrants or drug smugglers. The arguments over the construction of Trump’s wall faced major opposition in our own government, from politicians who were more culturally aware, and our federal government ended up entering a government shutdown that lasted over two months. The decision by Trump to construct this wall between the US and Mexico, shows that his actions are against the departments mission statement as he is not respecting the cultural importance of Mexico, and he is not promoting a conflict resolution in a just and responsible fashion while respecting the rights of individuals. Lastly, Donald Trump has continually claimed that Arab-Americans felt a sense of joy during the 9/11 attacks back in September 2001. On one of the most tragic days our nation has experienced, to claim that no Muslim-American experienced the pain and utter heartbreak of losing their friends and family to such violent terrorism, is shocking. Simply because a fewradical extremists from the Muslim dominated Middle East claimed responsibility for the attack, Trump felt it just to label all Muslims as either extremists or supporters of the actions of terrorists. By saying these words in such a time of sorrow, Donald Trump displayed that he is either completely culturally unaware of the world around him or just plain ignorant, and these bold statements he made go directly against our university’s psychology departments mission statement by accusing Muslims as being either extremists or supporters of the actions made by terrorists. This is extreme stereotyping and Trump is labeling people based on their nationality and looks. This goes against the URI’s multicultural mission statement by not being culturally competent and aware of other people. In terms of my own life, there have been moments where the psychology department’s mission statement was relevant. For example, I have traveled to numerous countries such as Italy, Great Britain, and Germany. Going to a foreign country, as a middle class white US citizen, is a challenging experience as I grew up in a very isolated community. To suddenly be surrounded by a whole new culture and way of life, it was a new experience. Although I was young, I believe I acted to the best of my ability to follow the department’s mission statement because I was always welcoming to new people regardless of what rumors or stereotypes I heard. This led me to try new foods, learn the language, and have social interactions with the natives who recognized that I was a foreigner in their country. Those trips across the Atlantic Ocean contain some of the best experiences of my life. I was able to experience a whole new culture, persevere and focus on making new memories, and enjoy the beautiful country that surrounded

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