“Embracing diversity and celebrating differences are the true gifts that CCMM gives to its students,” says long-time supporter Steven Klein. Steve visited CCMM at Marina Middle School last year, and got to see the students interacting with the museum. “Seeing children ask questions not only about cultural differences but how those differences impact the environment was astounding. One of my favorites was when the presenter compared different types of drinking water vessels which left the children thinking: ‘how similar is a plastic water bottle to a gourd used for drinking?’ ‘Which is easier to produce?’ ‘Which is better for the environment?’ The students learn about a different culture while, at the same time, gaining perspective on collective decision-making and global health.”
Steve, originally from Manhassett, NY, has adopted Los Angeles as his home. “LA is home to a diverse mixture of cultures and backgrounds. CCMM utilizes this diversity to engage students in learning about their own cultures as well as those of their peers.” Steve says that CCMM takes on the task of raising this generation of students to be global citizens by offering participants a glimpse into cultures from around the globe. “This generation of children will have unparalleled access to communication, technology and information moving forward. CCMM arms these same students with a lens through which they can embrace cultural groups with whom they will be in contact, focusing on an understanding of our similarities instead of an intolerance of our differences.”
“After visiting CCMM, you feel a closeness to other cultures and gain an understanding that we come from a place more similar than different. The children leave the sessions with a greater sense of understanding and respect for one another.”
An MD/PhD Candidate in the UCLA MSTP Program, as a medical student at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and an Autism Speaks Weatherstone Fellow graduate student in UCLA’s Department of Human Genetics, Steve anticipates graduating in 2018.