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Professor writes about value of all cultures

Jenny Lee, Staff Writer

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Ingrid Aall, a retired Cal State Long Beach professor of art and history of culture and religion, wrote a book, “The Multicultural Challenge,” which features a foreword written by President F. King Alexander. 

Alexander encourages readers to accept Aall’s philosophy of equal opportunity. 

“I believe it’s useful for students as well as others to understand that we do live in a multicultural society,” Alexander said.

According to the book’s website, “The Multicultural Challenge” focuses on the immigrant experience, and the process of adjusting to new environments and attitudes of people from the host culture.

“[The book] gives you an open view of how an accepting society can respect and value the people from the variety of different cultures, backgrounds and global perspectives,” Alexander said.

Aall wrote the book to help explain the dynamics of postmodernism. Aall said Alexander’s experience made him the perfect person to contribute to the book, which is designed to give advice to students on how to live in a rapidly changing global society. 

“After 35 years of devotion to promotional knowledge and awareness in multiculturalism, I realized nobody could be better equipped than [Alexander] who already has the tools, skills, insights, knowledge to bring the attention of the student,” Aall said. 

In the book, Aall talks about how to deal with unfamiliar cultures and how to accommodate to change. 

“Education will solve everything like prejudice or poverty and teach us about ourselves, world, freedom and responsibility … overall, it will prepare us to live life with awareness, attitude and discipline, but it’s a challenge,” Aall said.

Alexander and Aall anticipated the great potential of the book embedded with life lessons of how to accept the changing environment.

“I wish students could develop to be responsible for their own advancement, be informed about their options, have confidence that America is still a place where they can achieve everything,” Aall said. “So begin dreaming it and act upon it, but you have to be patient with yourself.”

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