I sometimes find myself "examining my identity" as other people examine their conscience ... I scour my memory to find as many ingredients of my identity as I can. I then assemble and arrange them. I don't deny any of them. — Amin Maalouf, contemporary Lebanese author, from In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong
In this workshop, participants share with partners their stories about a day in the life of someone whose racial/ethnic identity is "other," and reflect on the experience of composing them. Trying to view the world through the lens of a person with a different identity is a move toward developing what are called "multicultural competencies." Stereotypes and biases about certain racial/ethnic and other social group identities may emerge in the stories and pose a challenge for you and the participants. Should this happen, remember the covenant the group made together as you work to help participants identify examples of these biases without being judgmental of the people in whose stories they are present.
Before leading this workshop, review the accessibility guidelines in the program Introduction under Integrating All Participants.
This workshop will:
- Provide more practice with serial testimony
- Provide an opportunity for sharing of "other" identity stories and reflection about the role of identity in day-to-day life experiences
- Prepare participants to grapple with unearned privilege and advantage for some groups and systematic disadvantage for others, based on racial identity.
- Reflect further on identity experiences and how those experiences may differ based on racial, ethnic, gender, social, or cultural identities
- Share their "other" identity stories and practice reflecting on their own possible biases and prejudices
- Begin to identify and consider the challenges inherent in learning to negotiate a range of cultural assumptions, expectations, and value systems and understand that this terrain cannot be negotiated unless it is identified.
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