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One America - People Respecting Other Peoples

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One America

Program: People Respecting Other Peoples, San Francisco, CA
Contact(s): Dr. Howard Pinderhughes, Director:(415) 502-5074
Purpose: To improve intergroup interaction by building a multicultural community through a youth-focused research, education and action program

Background Program Operations Outcomes


The People Respecting Other Peoples (P.R.O.P.S.) Program was created in 1996 to assess and improve intergroup interaction at Mission High School in San Francisco. Students chose the name as a symbol to promote ethnic and racial tolerance, harmony and respect. P.R.O.P.S. is an intervention program designed to increase the school population's awareness of ethnic and racial attitudes, as well as provide programs that facilitate increased positive relations among youth from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. P.R.O.P.S. is funded under a two-year pilot grant from the Carnegie Foundation.

Program Operations

Under the P.R.O.P.S. Program, a diverse mix of 15 high school students are recruited and trained over a three-month period to conduct research and interviews on ethnic and racial attitudes, ethnic and racial identities and intergroup relations among fellow students. The survey results are analyzed by and presented to the school community through classroom presentations and faculty meetings. Consequently, the entire student body participates in discussions on racial attitudes and works together on developing strategies for improving the school community. Interviews with the students were videotaped and edited into a 40-minute presentation that will provide the basis for a two-day mini-cultural dialogue involving the entire school community at the start of the 1998-1999 school year. Following this dialogue, P.R.O.P.S. members will then convene working groups composed of students and faculty to develop a three-year action plan to enhance the multicultural environment of the school.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

The results of the survey have clearly shown fertile ground for improved intergroup relations. Initially, students displayed relatively tolerant attitudes towards all group members with some evidence of a lack of knowledge of diverse racial and ethnic groups. By mediating disputes, conducting workshops, hosting multicultural events and laying the foundation for race-related dialogue, the P.R.O.P.S. program has increased awareness and interest in improvement of intergroup relations.

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