Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Building the World We Dream About for Young Adults: An Anti-racist Multicultural Program

Activity 3: Identity Map and Identity Formation

Activity time: 45 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Copy Handout 1 for participants.

Description of Activity

Introduce this activity with these or similar words:

Part of being a culturally competent person is understanding one's own cultural identity and learning how to appreciate the cultural identity of others. With practice, we can learn not to assume that our experience is "normal" or that our point of view is the one against which others' experiences should be measured.

We are going to use a tool developed by Unitarian Universalist minister Rev. Dr. Monica Cummings to help ministers identify their own cultural biases and the ways their cultural perspective might differ from that of a person to whom they are providing pastoral care. We'll use the tool to help us lift up and appreciate the cultural differences among the members of this group.

Distribute Handout 1, Cummings' Identity Map and Worksheet and writing implements. Explain the map, point out the example, and, allow time for participants to ask questions. Give participants about 10 minutes to complete their Identity Map worksheet.

Then, have participants rank the identity categories on their worksheet in order of each category's importance in their life, with 1 being most important and 9 being least important. Refer them to the Cummings Identity Map Example.

Then, invite them to move into groups of three and share their maps and rankings with one another. Encourage them to share with one another why they ranked the categories as they did. Allow ten minutes.

Bring the large group back together. Ask participants to share highlights of small group discussions. Lead a discussion with these questions:

  • What surprised you about your own map?
  • Which category was the most difficult for you to complete?
  • What differences did you find in your small group that might suggest differing perspectives?
  • What new insights about multicultural competence have emerged for you?