One America - E Pluribus Unum: Multicultural Institute for Teachers

Program: E Pluribus Unum: Multicultural Institute for Teachers, Downey, CA
Contact(s): Stephanie Graham, Consultant: (562) 922-6410
Purpose: To help teachers and their students create and maintain healthy intercultural communities through relevant classroom instruction

Background Program Operations Outcomes


Staff in the Los Angeles County Office of Education created E Pluribus Unum: Multicultural Institute for Teachers after the 1992 Los Angeles riots to help classroom teachers address the needs of all students by promoting diversity as part of their curricula. In its pilot phase in spring of 1993, 75 teachers from schools in Los Angeles County were enrolled in a seven-day training program to examine their values and beliefs, develop curriculum and identify strategies to include all students in their instructional programs. Prior to E Pluribus Unum, there was no established multicultural curriculum in the city of Los Angeles.

Program Operations

In the first year of E Pluribus Unum, teams consisting of 2-4 teachers and administrators participated in seven six-hour training sessions conducted by a three-person training team. The initial training teams were comprised of a diverse group of consultants from the Los Angeles County Office of Education. After the pilot phase, evaluative data was collected and summarized. Suggestions to improve the program were incorporated into revision efforts occurring during the summer of 1993. During the 1993-1994 school year, the revised product was published, training teams were re-constituted and an additional 150 teachers received direct training. This training focused on such subjects as the different stages of cultural identity development, demographics, and defining multicultural education. Additionally, in the summer of 1994 a nine-day "Training for Trainers" program was offered to teachers who were interested in training other teachers in their schools. Participants acquire skills in cross-cultural communication, problem solving, decision making and conflict resolution. Every year since the pilot year, additional teachers have enrolled in training and have developed their capacities as trainers.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

To date, approximately 750 educators from Los Angeles County and surrounding counties have participated in the program. The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles has also requested the aid of E Pluribus Unum to help review and enhance its programs for educators and principals.

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