The Beautifully Different Mission Statement

One World. One Race. Many beautifully different people.The Beautifully Different concept, and plan to launch a non-profit organization, is something near and dear to our founder’s heart, the result of lifelong experiences, and passions.

While enjoying and reveling — throughout his life — in our fundamental human similarity, which coexists alongside, within, and wholly part of our uniqueness, individuality, and diversity, he also observed and experienced the ugliness of racism and other forms of hate and fear in action. People afraid of, and harming — with words, fists and worse — other people, because they looked, dressed, talked, ate, behaved, or believed differently.

It became clear to him that most who lashed out in fear, at those who were different, were mostly ignorant, unfamiliar and uncomfortable with those unlike themselves. The rest were just run-of-the-mill bullies; insecure, needing some way to feel better, superior to others, selecting some easy, obvious difference to target and label them as inferior, worthy of hate (fear).

Over the years, he observed racism, hate and fear ebbing mostly as the result of two things — education and exposure — learning about, and experiencing others who are different.  You can’t continue hate a person for simply being different from you, if you spend time with them, get to know them, share some experiences, and realize they are fundamentally the same as you are!

So the idea of launching an organization to CELEBRATE OUR BEAUTIFUL DIFFERENCES, WHILE ALSO ENJOYING OUR COMMONALITIES, was born early in 2016. As the year progressed, with a bitter, acrimonious presidential election unraveling the fabric of American society, words and acts of fear, hate and racism increased.  It became harder to explain the hateful words and violence to our children, to calm and protect them, to teach them tolerance, and for them to maintain their self-esteem and confidence.

Then the election came, delivering an unexpected winner, which — as the result of his hateful words spewed during that awful campaign — seemed to be a vindication, approval, even an endorsement of HATE! Of course, many who voted for him are not racist, misogynist, or xenophobic, citing many other reasons for their vote, but they had to overlook, and ignore those traits in their candidate in order to vote for him, which makes it appear to be an endorsement of them…

In any case, on the surface, and certainly in the minds of most children, it seems as if the country has elected a president who only cares about those like himself, and hates those who are different. This is an unacceptable, awful situation to be in for one day, let alone a four year presidential term! Not a positive example for the greatest country on earth to be setting for the rest of the world. At this moment, many American children and parents are deeply afraid of what will happen in the days ahead…

Clearly, the time to launch our organization is NOW.

Hate comes from fear; fear from ignorance. Education replaces ignorance, fear, and hate.

 

Thus, the Beautifully Different mission is comprised of the Three E’s:

1. EDUCATION — to Erase Ignorance, Replace Fear & Hate, with Knowledge.

2. EXPOSURE — to Our Differences, to Create Understanding & Build Tolerance.

3. EVENTS — to Build Familiarity & Comfort with, and Appreciation of, our Sameness & Uniqueness.

Email info@beautifullydifferent.org or info@beautdiff.com for more information, become a member (coming soon), join our team, or get involved!

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Stay beautiful and different!

bd

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Omar Musa, Multi-Cultural Poet-Rapper, Has a Great Message!

This is the multi-cultural rap we found today–and love–written by poet, author, musician Omar Musa, performed with his collaborators…

After a little research, we found that Omar Musa is known primarily for writing in a street-style called “Slam Poetry” which he delivers on paper, online, on stage, in music; any form or forum he can use to spread his message.

Omar Musa is beautifully different; his work confronts and comments on racism, and other forms of hate. For these reasons, we are posting about him here, to support his work and spread his message.

Here is Omar Musa’s website: http://herecomethedogs.com.au/

Here is Omar Musa performing his poetry and speaking for a TEDx presentation in Sydney…

Here is the article on Huffington Post, which brought Omar Musa to our attention: HuffPost.com

One race. One world. Many beautifully different people.

bd

 

 

Signs, People of a Movement (Bernie Rally in NYC)

Another personal post – this one from my street photography blog “OverHerd-OverScene” – which formed the emotional, experiential basis for me to launch Beautifully Different. At a political rally, I was immersed in (and enjoyed) a remarkable diversity, a passionate crowd of unique people with one purpose, and many beautiful differences.

OverHerd & OverScene

On April 16, 2016, I was pleasantly surprised, caught up, and swept along by a march and rally supporting Bernie Sanders for POTUS in New York City (Manhattan). I took pictures of the event from my “OHOS”  (OverHerd-OverScene / OverHeard-OverSeen) blog persona/POV, and tried to capture as much as I could of the passion and excitement of his supporters.

IMG_3631The event had two parts: the march up Lafayette Street / 4th Avenue (images posted previously), and the rally/gathering in Union Square Park. This post, published several weeks after the event, but still interesting and relevant, has a gallery of my images from the rally only. That day, Union Square Park was simultaneously host to both the usual Union Square Greenmarket  (farmer’s market) at the north end of the park, as well as the diverse, passionate people with their colorful clothes, and clever signs, supporting the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, at the…

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Replacing Racism, Unlocking the Heart (and Mind).

Another of my personal posts, which formed the basis of launching Beautifully Different…

Russ Murray

I started to write about racism several times before, motivated each time by some sad, horrific, race-creed-religion-motivated hate crime, police brutality, act-of-war, or terrorism. However, the posts remained in my drafts, unpublished, because each time, the horrific event that inspired me to write, was too quickly followed by another, then another, then many more, in my own country and around the world.  It was impossible for me to finish processing and writing about one event, before I was forced to deal with, and feel my way through yet another new atrocity, in a relentless, inexorable flow of atrocities.

But, after this last nightmarish week in America, a week in which we witnessed the murders of two innocent men by police in Louisiana (Alton Sterling) and Minnesota (Philando Castile), followed by the murders of five innocent police officers (and wounding of 7-10+ more) in Dallas, I had to express my views, add my voice to the outcry, and…

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Acknowledging the Death of Strangers (Empathy)

This is one of several personal posts, which formed the basis of launching Beautifully Different…

Russ Murray

After an otherwise enjoyable holiday weekend with family and friends, I found myself saddened once again by news of murder and death, and posted this status update to my Facebook feed on July 4th:

“Today, as we celebrate our American Independence Day, my heart breaks for the victims of hate in Baghdad, Iraq and Dhaka, Bangladesh.”

Many of my “friends” responded with sad and angry emoticons, a few with standard Facebook “likes” indicating (I hope) approval of my post, rather than their like of murder and/or death. I should point out that my “friends” are comprised of the following five (5) types, which may alter the significance and value of their responses to my posts:
  1. Family & Close Friends = 40+
  2. Friends, Colleagues & Fellow Alumni = 500+
  3. Real Social Media Friends (people I’ve had dialogue with over time, and about whose lives I know something) = 500+
  4. Social Media “Friends” I Don’t Really Know (but friended because…

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