Alternate Activity 1: Claiming Our Identities
Activity time: 30 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Face-sized ovals cut from construction paper or card stock, one for each participant
- Colorful craft materials, including a variety of construction paper, yarn, color markers, color pencils, paint, collage materials, scissors, glue, and tape
Preparation for Activity
- Prepare table space where participants can do art work individually while sharing craft materials.and distribute or arrange materials for easy access.
Description of Activity
Say, in these words or your own:
The identities we each carry have many facets. We are shaped by many forces including the cultures in which we were born, raised, and live; our racial and ethnic backgrounds; the values, practices, likes, and dislikes of people and groups we connect with, and more. We play roles, some chosen, some not.
We each have facets of identity we show to the world each day and others that are perhaps not so apparent. We are fathers and sisters, students and nurses, daughters and uncles, musicians, Latinas, Italian Americans, readers, gardeners, teens and elders, immigrants and tenth-generation Americans, learning challenged, Buddhists, gay, bilingual, hearing impaired, athletes, middle class, and great-grandparents. We each have aspects of nationality, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic class, education, age, sexual orientation, and physical ability. In some times and places we choose to emphasize one or more aspects of our identity, or others may notice one aspect of who we are. Our identities may change with the changing circumstances of our lives. But all aspects inform how we experience the world. And being able to share the story of our identities and be truly seen by another person is a holy act.
Invite participants to create masks that symbolize the various elements of their identities. Allow 15 minutes.
Ask participants to pair up and share their mask with their partner and tell why they chose the elements they did and what those elements mean to them. Remind participants: The goal is to witness and to understand one another, not to judge. Allow 10 minutes for the sharing.