Cover Story: MSU students and scholars help us navigate a diverse world

CELEBRATING 1,000 QUESTIONS

Click this image of MSU students to read Joe’s story.

MEET THE BIAS BUSTERS—Michigan State University’s Joe Grimm writes about the milestone of 1,000 questions asked—and answered—by MSU School of Journalism students working with experts nationwide on a popular series of guidebooks. Each title begins “100 Questions & Answers About …” and these students—with input from blue-ribbon panels of expert readers—answer the common questions we often ask among friends and co-workers. The key to living successfully in our diverse communities, today, is understanding the meaning of our individual customs and traditions so that we can see how much we ultimately share. Please, read Joe Grimm’s story about how much has been learned in this years’ long process of asking 1,000 questions. And share this news with friends. These guides are perfect for anyone who wants to know more about family, friends and co-workers from different backgrounds.

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Click the image to read the story.

ALSO FROM MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

CRITICAL CONVERSATIONS—“Leaders drive change,” writes Bill Donohue, a Distinguished Professor of Communication at Michigan State University. “That driving process happens through a series of critical conversations.” As we work each day, we talk with managers, co-workers, clients—but we rarely think about how we are approaching these conversations that define our lives. In this “must-read primer for anyone interested in leadership,” Donohue describes our possible approaches to these conversations as a card game he calls Card Talk. Please, read the news about this remarkable, practical—and downright fun—new book that helps us approach often stressful interactions with an eagerness that comes with these fresh insights.

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Click on the image to read about Memorial Day.

Happy Memorial Day!

MAKING MEMORIAL DAY PLANS? Stephanie Fenton’s column also turns back to excerpts from the landmark essay on “Civil Religion in America” by sociologist Robert Bellah—well worth a moment to read this week. If you’re intrigued, she also has a link to find the entire text of Bellah’s lengthy essay. Bellah writes, in part: “Memorial Day observance, especially in the towns and smaller cities of America, is a major event for the whole community involving a rededication to the martyred dead, to the spirit of sacrifice, and to the American vision.” Whether you agree with Bellah or not, there are lots of thought-provoking ideas in this piece that was published half a century ago!

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Click to read about Kaemingk’s work.

Ramadan Mubarak!

FASTING & HOSPITALITY—The vast majority of the world’s nearly 2 billion Muslims are observing the annual fast of Ramadan, which continues through mid June, some of the longest days of any calendar year. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story, including the background on this important month.

In addition, we have lots of other inspiring (and delicious) stories related to Ramadan. For example, Christian ethicist Matthew Kaemingk’s new book addresses evangelical Christians, making the case that Christianity calls on the faithful to welcome our Muslim neighbors.

WHY WE FASTMuslim educator and writer Najah Bazzy explains the benefits of the Ramadan fast in this chapter from her book The Beauty of Ramadan.

MUSLIM PUBLISHING—In our FrontEdgePublishing section, we take a look at the challenges Muslim writers and readers face in trying to get their books published in the U.S., these days.

THROUGHOUT MAY—Two special national observances honor centuries of American Jewish history and Asian Pacific American heritage. Our column has links to resource-rich Library of Congress websites for both months.

Want to see all the holidays? www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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FAITH & FILM

Click the image to read Ed’s review.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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