FL- Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Robert lngram
put his law enforcement skills to work recently in Indiana.
Approximately 150 Police officers from South Bend, Mishawaka,
St. Joseph County and surrounding areas at a Charter Hospital
Workshop about the nature of prejudice and how to overcome
it using skills in diversity.
Board Member lngram who is also a full
professor and Special Assistant to the President at Florida
Memorial College conducted the workshop recently (Thursday,
July 29, 1999) demonstrating how accepting diversity leads
to greater mental health.
Dennis Sajdak, Chief Executive officer
at Charter Hospital, stated that the need for a diversity
program was identified by Mishawaka Police, so as part
of continued outreach to the community, the hospital and
police agencies brought Dr. lngram in to conduct the training.
Dr. Ingram stated that understanding diversity
is "a sign of good mental health." He further
noted that "the practice of denying the existence
of a group, to make them invisible has negative consequences
on your psyche," lngram further noted "you are
setting yourself up for a disaster if you put blinders
on concerning groups other than your own, it can be fatal
if you are in law enforcement."
lngram's goal is to save officers' lives
and help them to protect others in the performance of
An individual can overcome the "isms"
they face in life - racism, sexism & class-isms -
these isms "are a product of incompetence, resistance
to change, cultural ignorance or lack of a diverse frame
Dr. Ingram compared cultural and racial
differences to gears, stating that "Gears go in different
directions, yet mesh in a way that creates New power."
With each police encounter with persons
of differing gender or race on officer well trained in
diversity has the opportunity to create a new and positive