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Diversity Series: Religions, Cultures, and Communities

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2006
0 pages
Two DVDs use narrative, interviews, and images to familiarize Chicago police officers with the diversity of religions and cultures of the people with whom they will interact in the course of their duties, thus enabling officers to be more sensitive, respectful, tolerant, and constructive in serving a diverse population.
The first of the two DVDs focuses on the various religions represented among Chicago residents. The religions profiled are Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Eastern Orthodoxy. The DVD uses narrator commentary and statements by practitioners and authorities on each religion to explain the history, central beliefs, and practices of the religion. The verbal commentary is accompanied by images of adherents engaged in worship, education, and rituals associated with the religion, as well as any distinctive dress, physical appearance, and symbols associated with the religion. The second DVD focuses on distinctive cultures that condition the attitudes, behaviors, values, and interests of Chicago residents. The cultures described in the DVD are classified as East Asian, South Asian, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Central/South American, and transgender. The latter is discussed as a distinctive segment of the population that requires police to make decisions and pursue policies appropriate to those who have physically changed their gender identity. For the cultures rooted in various geographic areas of the world, the DVD identifies the countries in the region that reflect the culture. For each culture, attention is given to language, customary practices in social interaction, dominant religious beliefs, and dominant attitudes toward police in the countries where the culture is present. Of particular concern is the prevalence in some of the cultures of fear of police. In such cases, police are advised to practice behaviors and communication that builds trust.