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"Your web site is the most addicting thing I have seen. I love
it. I will probably get fired for being on it all day, while at work.
It is brilliant, simply brilliant..."
- Andy R., male, Ohio
"This is the best forum I've seen so far. My donation is in the
- Samm, African-American female, Boston, MA
"A revolutionary site."
- University of Wisconsin Office of
Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs
"This white male has put Y? Forum in his 'cool' bookmark
- Mark S., Houston, TX
"Rarely do I ever submit feedback about the quality of a
website, but I stumbled upon yours in an attempt to answer a racially
oriented curiosity, and I have to say, it is the epitome of what is
right with the Internet. It is informative and, surprisingly, full of
intelligent questions and answers, and free of the general riff-raff
to which most frequent surfers have grown accustomed. Where my
intentions might be misconstrued as rude in person by my body
language, voice intonation or merely the subject of my question, I
can ask a logical and sincere query on your site and receive a wide
cultural reach of answers. YForum is one of the best sites on the
Internet. Oh yes - and I did find many answers to my question."
- Brian Black, Georgia Institute of
"A brilliant avenue for real learning and understanding. My
goodness, if any one web page can change the world, this is the
- Steve Russillo
"Your web site touches millions and is such a powerful venue.
You are so doing the right thing, and thank you for having the
courage to open communication."
- Barbara Carolyn, 24, white female,
"You have allowed sharp, penetrating and even controversial
questions without allowing the questions or answers to cause anger
and hatred. We actively encourage our employees to log onto the Y?
Forum for their own education."
- Steve Rockey, Shell Deer Park
Chemical Plant Diversity Council, Deer Park, Texas
"I found your link through an article in The Boston Globe and
find it a wonderful place to visit. Thanks for doing it. I plan to
give a donation to support your work."
- Edie Patterson, National Civic
League, Washington, DC
"I think this site, and the idea behind it, is absolutely
inspired. Your site really fortified my belief in people, and
therefore my spirit, when I came across it a while ago. I don't
believe that aggression is the natural human response to difference;
I think it's curiosity. An almost tender, delicate curiosity that
intends no harm, and has respect at its quizzical, interested core.
As far as I know, there's no other forum apart from Y? where this
aspect of people's nature can express itself, and it's a positive
aspect - people accepting other people's difference and wanting to
know more -wanting to see how the world looks through someone else's
eyes, from someone else's perspective. There's a great deal of
respect at the heart of that. Reactionaries never bother to ask
- Billie, female, Manchester,
"I sample your site frequently, and after a visit, I can
experience a complete range of emotions: hope, sadness, anger and
sometimes despair. The world is a very interesting place, and I find
that Y? sometimes puts a very fine point on it. Thank you for helping
me see some things I had always sensed to be true, but could only
keep to myself."
- Matthew, gay male, New York
"Confused, amused, offended or down-right angry, I'm always
ready for more of your wonderful questions and responses. With all
the crap floating around on the Internet, it's refreshing to see
something that can provoke such intriguing responses. I'm not a
charitable person by nature, but you've put me in such a good mood
I'm going to pry the wallet open to offer a little help. Carry
- Brian H., Denver, CO
"On behalf of the Ocean County Library System's Diversity
Committee, I would like to thank you for your inspiring and
well-executed Y? Forum presentation. Based on the evaluations of
staff members in attendance, your program was very well-received.
Here are some of the highlights:
-Very entertaining and enlightening - gave me some new
-Excellent presenter - had a great presentation and manner of
presenting difficult questions.
-Interesting, innovative - opened a new door to the world.
It was uplifting to see how open discussion of our differences
can lead to the road of understanding and acceptance for all types of
people. We wish you much continued success with Y? Forum. It was
truly a pleasure to experience a small taste of what your web site
had to offer."
- Valerie Bell, Diversity Outreach
Subcommittee Chair, Ocean County Library System, Lakewood, NJ
"Y? rocks! My friend accidentally stumbled upon it while doing
research for a paper, and I happened to be close enough to hear her
exclamation concerning its awesome-ness. I have just been browsing
the site and had to stop to email my astonishment and elation at what
Y? is trying to do, and doing. I can't wait to tell all my friends
about it, and I think they will be amazed and grateful as well. Thank
you for your ingenuity."
- Leanne Alaman, 19, African
American/Caucasion (to name a few) female, Walla Walla, WA
"Your site is hilarious, but most of all interesting. I even
found out some things that have been bothering me for years."
- Jenni Tapanila, 21, white female,
"The book Wet Dogs is an enjoyable, stimulating and
provocative read. The web site Y? is a unique new resource available
to help the people of the world get smarter about ourselves. It
allows us to self-educate ourselves at our discretion about cultural
differences and issues of diversity that just moments before seemed
impossible to learn. Y? is a wellspring of important new information
and dialogue that you should check out today."
- Bill Goss, internationally known
speaker; author, The Luckiest
Unlucky Man Alive
"Y? is a very positive resource. I don't mind the tough
questions, emotional issues or the reality that, to some, my
blackness is confusing, frustrating or even intriguing."
- Dee W., black female, Cleveland,
"Your site is awesome and often gets me thinking on issues I
had never thought about. It's pungent, provocative and extremely
bold. Great work!"
- Atirath Aich, Toronto, Ontario,
"I'm so busted. I often stereotypically refer to men as
perfunctory morons for one reason or another. Sometimes I'm soooo
wrong! I just spent a considerable amount of time browsing your site.
The content is awesome. Thanks for being on this planet."
- Mendy J.
"I just have to say that this is one of the best sites I
have come across. I will be spreading the word!"
- Laura Selken, 39, white Christian
"Just a note to thank you for the program you did for the
Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan
College. Your presentation, And Now for Something Completely
Different: Achieving Civility by Asking Questions Worth a Smack on
the Head from Mom! was the perfect rousing and rowdy finish to
our Spring 2K Symposium, "Religious Freedom and Civility in the
Public Square." I especially appreciated your selection of questions
and responses from the Y? Forum section on religion � they were
striking, and, indeed, poignant testimonies to our human capacity for
both strange curiosity about, and touching patience with, those who
are different from ourselves. Comments from our audience in answer to
our query, "What did you learn during this program?" included, "The
value of 'useless' information" and that 'we insulate ourselves with
political correctness and never really get to know other people.'" I
especially valued your commentary on the Y? Forum�s version of the
rules of civility: Ask anything, as long as it is asked with benign
intent, in good faith and out of honest curiosity. As the Center
continues its mission to educate about religious freedom issues and
encourage dialogue among people of good will, your courage and
example offer us a few valuable markers on the path less trodden.
- Catharine Cookson, J.D., Ph.D.;
Director, The Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia
"I just discovered your site today and have spent most of the
day reading it rather than working on all these piles of work on my
desk. It's really fascinating reading."
- Darren H.
"The Y? Forum is a wonderful example of a web site where
readers can safely ask and follow discussions on sensitive
cross-cultural topics without having to wade through foul language or
- Bell Atlantic Chairman and CEO
Raymond W. Smith
From a speech on the proliferation of "cyberhate" on the Internet
delivered Dec. 1, 1998, at the Simon Wiesenthal Center/Museum of
"I just want to say ... Thank You. I go to (Y?) almost every
other day. I think this project is really great. Open discussion and
expression, a free marketplace of ideas, is the real key to combating
ignorance. You guys are really making a difference."
- Nathan H., St. Louis, Mo.
"This is the strangest site I've ever seen."
- Rachel Adams, 26, African-American
"On behalf of the Child Welfare League of America Walker
Trieschman Center, I would like to thank you for speaking at the
2001 Finding Better Ways conference. Your talk was a perfect
blend of humor and serious thoughts and ideas. We appreciate your
taking the time to share with us how we can learn from each other to
be sensitive to differences. The conference was a huge success, due
in large part to your presentation."
- Floyd J. Alwon, Director, Walker
Trieschman Center, CWLA
"Thanks for a great job and a great service! Last night I got
my biggest kick out of a letter and its response. An African American
emailed complaining about crazy whites. A white man wrote in to say
some blacks are crazy, too. Then a South American topped them all and
put things in perspective by saying that all those weird behaviors
were American! I loved it!"
- Diane Judge, 45, African-American
female, Durham, NC
"Phillip Milano's presentation, Asking Questions ... Worth a
Smack on the Head from Mom, was a big eye-opener for the
participants (of the national Working With People Of Color
Conference). Those who attended left eager to log onto the Y? web
site (www.yforum.com), a resource where answers to questions on
others' ethnic backgrounds and cultures can be found. This
educational tool is unique, providing a neutral and uninhibited way
for anyone, lay persons and professionals, to find answers to
'inappropriate questions' about cultures different from their own.
This resource is needed in society today, where individuals
frequently encounter ethnic and racial differences and barriers on
the job and in their personal lives."
- Davia Isleib, Coordinator,
National "Working With People Of Color" Conference, Jacksonville,
"This project of yours really is interesting, and it kind of
makes me feel like I am not the only one who thinks that way. Good
- Maria Federley, 18, white female,
"A moderated bulletin board in grand form, Y? provides a forum
in which readers may submit a question about some aspect of another's
culture or social group, with an answer usually provided by readers
from that group. Topics are often provocative."
- Queens Borough Public Library,
"I am the senior class president at a high school with a wide
variety of people, with a wide variety of views, and thus, a wide
range of social misunderstandings. It's great to find another tool I
can use to promote tolerance and openness. I encourage all of my
peers to log on to the Y? site."
- Lauren De Vine, Sacramento, CA
"A topical forum for people to talk about their differences.
This is a big, well-maintained site which might be useful for
participation or applied research assignments."
"Empathy," a listing of
web-based resources for interpersonal and small group communication
classes; moderated by professors at Rutgers University, St. Johns
University and Columbus State University
"Thank you for this site. I read the postings several times a
week and have responded to and asked several questions. This is one
of the real positive things about the Internet. People can ask and
answer questions they may not be able to ask on a personal basis. And
we definitely need forums that increase our understanding of one
another. Thank you again for you dedication."
- Lucy Hernandez, San Jose,
"A revolutionary site."
State Office for Diversity and Affirmative Action
"As a professional anthropologist, I think that what Y?
accomplishes is critical for our times."
- John Hoopes, associate professor
of anthropology, University of Kansas
"The 2000 Michigan Public Relations Society of America State
Conference was very well received this year. In fact, we continue to
receive positive feedback on the session topics and quality of
speakers. You were a major contributor to our success. We appreciate
you taking the time out of your schedule to join us."
- Gayle A. Joseph, Jeanine Mixdorf,
Lynne D. Morrison, co-chairs, 2000 Michigan PRSA State Conference
"This is the best site I have ever seen that deals with any of
these issues! There are so many people who otherwise would never have
their questions answered and go on believing their misconception
without a website like this. What you have done is so important. I am
not afraid to ask people questions, but I have still learned things
from this site and have had e-mail interactions with a few of the
people. They have not been anything but respectful. You really have
attracted a group who really are trying to understand or at least
accept others different from themselves."
- Cindy Lee
"Your site is outstanding. As one who has spent his life trying
to be free of prejudice and working with an array of organizations to
contribute to this effort, your contribution is excellent. Yes - it
is full of stereotypical responses to questions; yes - there is
enormous misinformation in people's comments; and yes - the
inaccuracies of other groups as well as the writer's own are almost
laughable at times. In spite of all this, the essential ingredient is
the beginning of a dialogue. That is quite positive."
- Bob Balogh
"I have just spent the last four hours reading various
questions and answers posed by readers of Y? I am thrilled that this
forum is available to anyone with access to an Internet computer. I
am even more thrilled and encouraged that the most articulate and
human responses come from readers aged 30 and under. I am left with a
feeling of hope and encouragement that one day gender, race, sexual
orientation and all of the "isms" that have separated society will
fade away and become moot! I would love to host you or a member of
the Y? team as a guest speaker for my organization."
- V. Bell
"When it comes to increasing our diversity awareness, we may
choose to engage in a number of activities to move outside of our
comfort zone. One simple activity that may assist us in moving beyond
simple awareness is logging onto the Internet at www.yforum.com ...
Upon entering the home page, one immediately gets exposure to the
value that this web site provides ... So when you think about the
tools you have access to regarding your growth in the area of
diversity, consider Y? This is yet another way to step outside
of your comfort zone, while in the comfort of your own home."
- Cindy Persico, Director of
Diversity, Jacksonville Chapter of The Society for Human Resource
Management, Jacksonville, Fla.
"You probably don't need to read more kudos for your inventive
way of tapping into our unique 'American' problem of race and how to
confront it. Today on The Ananda Lewis Show was the first time
I learned about your book and fully intend to purchase a copy. I am
so grateful this has come about. Thank you and congratulations for
your accomplishment. What you are trying to do and have done cannot
be easy. I plan on visiting the site often and respond when I can,
and ask those 'embarassing' questions I have on my mind as well. What
I find here I hope will put us a lot closer to understanding each
other than we have done in so many years past."
- D. Lawrence
"A safe place to ask questions you'd be too embarrassed or
afraid of giving offense to ask directly of a person of a different
sex, race, ethnic group, sexual orientation or religion. A valuable
chance to replace stereotypes and ignorance with understanding."
- Marylaine Block, "Librarian
"I like being able to let people in on the knowledge I have
gained from life. Being a young female student, I can answer
questions from a different perspective than many."
- Hilary Wisler, Lawrence, KS
"Phil was the keynote speaker at a diversity workshop sponsored
by the Cleveland and Akron area chapters of the Public Relations
Society of America in September 1998. His presentation received some
of the highest marks on our evaluations. Most participants found his
presentation and web site thought-provoking, and his presentation
generated excellent discussions during the following sessions. I
believe what Phil Milano is doing is important for all of us in
business. His web site provides a means for us to better understand
one another, which in turn fosters improved communication. His
message is particularly compelling for professionals in our field of
public relations because our success so often depends on building
relationships and opening lines of communication."
- Barbara N. Paynter, APR, Senior
Account Executive; member, Akron PRSA
"As an educational tool in helping people to understand
questions and issues from a variety of viewpoints, Y? is an excellent
- Cindy Clardy, corporate diversity
council member, Southfield, MI
"I read your web site at least two to three times a week. It
was the topic of discussion in our Cross-Cultural psychology class
- Leah, 27, psychology
"I encourage you to visit this Web site. When it comes to
communicating with people and/or about issues with which we [PR
professionals] are not entirely familiar, a little advance research
can�t hurt. Some examples are humorous, while others are quite
serious. The point is we often don�t know as much as we should about
our individual differences and words or phrases that hurt or anger,
even if the information we are communicating is technically
- Mary Yerrick, president, National
Capital Chapter, Public Relations Society of America, Washington,
"The Y? Forum is effective because you can ask those silly
questions, even when you know they are silly."
- Issac B., 25, black male,
journalist, Myrtle Beach, SC
"Just wanted to thank you for the job you folks are doing on
this web site. I stumbled upon it by accident and spent all night
just reading. It's quite rare that one finds a web site with so much
good content. As a gay male in his twenties, I'm finding your web
site a great comfort to read because I'm realizing more and more that
there are lots of people out there who feel the same way I do. I
don't feel so isolated anymore."
- Michael T. Gilbert
"My wife and I (both white, age 35, middle class, 4 years of
college) have been looking at your site for years. What a great
opportunity to ask and respond to questions without fear of
retribution. Keep up the good work!"
"I know absolutely nothing about other races, religions, sexual
orientations, etc., other than my own. I think this is a fantastic
- Jen, 28, single white female, Royal Oak, MI
"I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the level
of discussion that goes on and by the general good spirit in which
the questions are asked."
- Anita Williams, Intercultural
Center Co-Founder, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
"Congratulations for coming up with the idea! You have created
the ideal world where honest curiosity and questions are welcomed.
Too many of us are frowned upon or treated as ignorant because we
have no knowledge of something we have never been taught or had the
resources to learn."
- Anne Marie Goodwin, white female,
"Thank you for providing this forum - too bad people cannot
handle honesty such as this face to face. Keep up the good work!"
- G.E. Long, African-American
"I just wanted to write you and tell you guys what an awesome
idea the Y? Forum is! I have not had a chance to read the whole site
yet, but I definitely plan on it. I have found what I have read so
far to be fantastic. I think that this web site definitely has the
potential to help educate many, many people. Today, individuals in
society have the advantage of having access to information right at
their fingertips that was previously unimagineable to people. What
better way of using this information access than bringing people of
all backgrounds from all over the world together to discuss their
differences and similarities?"
- Paul Reed
"Just found this site this morning. I really think it is a very
useful and interesting site. Thank you for a non-threatening place to
ask what would normally be questions that might be resented, ignored
or dismissed as being in 'bad taste.'"
- E. Baker
"Finally! Someone who is exploiting the potential of the web.
Here's a thanks from the depths of my mind and my heart. You have
inspired me. When I have some free cash, I'll be sending some your
way to support your effort."
- Henry Bachofer
"I just wanted to let you know again that you're doing a great
job with Y? I'm always fascinated by the questions and answers, every
time I check in."
- Larry Gritz, Richmond, CA
"I think it is a wonderful idea to have a forum for exchanging
values, attitudes and opinions as well as to learn what others think,
hopefully to move toward understanding and reconciliation for those
who feel set aside or marginalized by the behavior and thinking of
- Lou Ball
"This is a wonderful thing you are doing. Interesting,
enlightening, occasionally infuriating. All the things it should
- Marcia L.
"I think your site is a fantastic idea. I have spent hours
going through the various questions and responses, responding to some
but reading almost all of them. This web site has opened my eyes to
many things, and I can honestly say that it is so refreshing to see
that there are so many people who feel as strongly as I do against
racism, sexism, etc. This web site has created an interesting, honest
discussion about many issues, and the best thing about it is that
many different viewpoints are heard, unlike newspaper editorials that
are so cramped for space that very few people get to have their voice
- Nneka N., black female, Detroit,
"I'm a 15-year-old from a small, mainly white town. I was
watching a TVO program called Mr. Jones. I heard about your site from
there. I decided to check it out, and I was really amazed. There are
really a lot of intelligent questions at this site, and I just wanted
to tell you that I think this site is a great place for people
(especially those from mono-ethnically concentrated areas such as
mine) to ask questions. It was a great experience, and I just wanted
to say thanks."
- Durk Townsend, Ontario,
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