Tapestry of Faith: Building the World We Dream About: An Anti-racism Multicultural Program

Alternate Activity 1: Multicultural Competence in Action

Activity time: 60 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Make two copies of Handout 3 for all participants.
  • Select scenes from films that demonstrate the presence or glaring absence of multicultural competencies. Choose at least one film scene that shows multicultural competence and at least one where it is disastrously absent. Cue the clips so you can find them easily to play for the group. Possibilities include:
    • In Twelve Angry Men, a black-and-white film classic, one juror (Peter Fonda) convinces eleven other jurors to change their minds about the guilt of an accused man. [Suggested clip: The first round of voting for guilt or innocence and the conversation that follows.]
    • In Crash, an ensemble cast "crash" into one another around issues of culture and prejudice. [Suggested clip: The Latino locksmith and the Iranian storekeeper at odds over who should accept responsibility for paying for services.]
    • In Corrina, Corrina, a widowed dad (Ray Liotta) hires a housekeeper and nanny (Whoopi Goldberg) in 1950s California. As the Goldberg character bonds with the Liotta character's young daughter, the couple fall in love.
    • Grand Canyon (1991) opens with scenes in which an affluent, white man (Kevin Kline) watches an L.A. Lakers basketball game, then drives his expensive car through a deserted urban neighborhood where a group of black youths threaten him, and a tow truck driver (Danny Glover) stops and sends the youth away.
  • Test the video player and projector.

Description of Activity

Explain that participants will watch two film clips, each of which demonstrates presence and absence of multicultural competence. Distribute Handout 3, two copies per person.

Explain that participants will see each film clip three times:

1. First viewing: Participants should get a sense of the content, tone, and body language of the actors. Invite them to take notes using the worksheet.

2. Second viewing: Pause the film at regular intervals (approximately every 30 seconds) and have participants take notes on what they see and hear. At the end of the clip, allow a minute for participants to finish their observations.

3. Third viewing: Show the entire clip straight through without pauses. Allow a minute or two for participants to make new notations or change their notes if necessary.

Ask participants to use their duplicate worksheet as you repeat the exercise with the second film clip.

Invite participants to move into groups of three or four to share what they noticed about each clip. Ask groups to determine how they would judge the presence or absence of multicultural competence. In each film clip, to what degree are the characters culturally competent?