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Introduction, Workshop 6: Building Multicultural Competence as Personal and Spiritual Practice

In "Building the World We Dream About," a Tapestry of Faith program

. . . For all the significant identities that constitute each of us, there is a personal essence that defines who we are, a singular soul that is hidden deep within beyond the layers of identity that protect it. When we make initial contact with each other, we only see the outside of that soul at first. But only through sustained communication and authentic relationships can we begin to penetrate the layers of social identity to view and enjoy the singular soul within. — Julio Noboa, contemporary educator and author, member of the Latino/Latina Unitarian Universalist Networking Association

This workshop introduces the concept of "multicultural competence." Participants will consider the kinds of knowledge and skills that individuals, communities, and groups must learn and practice in order to build healthy, accountable relationships with communities of color and other racially and ethnically marginalized groups.

The workshop also presents stories from Unitarian Universalism that offer models for multicultural competence as personal practice. In particular, it presents an incident that happened at the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in Fort Worth, Texas in 2005 as a teachable moment for transforming our Unitarian Universalist communities. Because the event generated feelings of pain and loss, participants with first-hand knowledge or direct experience may harbor feelings of anxiety, hurt, or anger. Encourage participants to use the tools and knowledge they are gaining in these workshops to identify lessons they can draw from their experiences to help move Unitarian Universalism and their own communities toward Beloved Community [Note: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned a Beloved Community of love and justice, where the races would be reconciled and the deep and terrible wounds of racism would finally be healed.]

Before leading this workshop, review the accessibility guidelines in the program Introduction under Integrating All Participants.

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This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, July 20, 2012.

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