Activity 4: Circles of Influence
Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Participant journals or paper, and pens/pencils
Description of Activity
Distribute paper and writing implements. Invite participants to consider the influences family, friends, and community have on their own identities. Invite participants to draw their circles of influence on paper or in their journals, offering these directions:
- On a sheet of paper, draw a circle in the center of the page.
- Write the word "me" inside the center of the circle.
- Draw another circle around the center circle. In the space you create, name people who are part of your day-to-day life, your family and friends. As you write each one's name, also write their racial/ethnic identity. If you don't know the racial/ethnic identity of someone in your inner circle, write what you perceive it to be, followed by a question mark.
- Draw another circle outside the first two. Write the names and racial/ethnic identities of people who are not part of your daily life, but are significant influences on your understanding of yourself.
- Outside of all the circles, list influences that surround you: where you live, where you work, where you attend school, groups or clubs to which you belong to, people with whom you share hobbies or interests, etc. Do your best to characterize the racial/ethnic identity of each of those groups.
After the drawings are completed, invite participants to reflect on how their own racial/ethnic identity is influenced by all of the people and groups they named. What insights and observations can they make from doing this exercise? Allow two or three minutes for participants to reflect in silence and/or jot thoughts in their journal.
Including All Participants
Have a facilitator partner with any participant who is not able to draw. Invite them to tell the facilitator how to fill the circles.