I specialize in teaching foundational skills needed to effectively work with populations who are culturally diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, ability status, and national origin. In particular, I teach skills in facilitating multicultural group interactions and in resolving conflicts or resistance that may emerge due to cultural misunderstandings or oppressive dynamics.
I engage students at the high school and collegiate levels, as well as community members in dialogues and skill building activities about conflict, social identities, privilege, oppression, and social justice for the purpose of helping them to enhance their ability to peacefully resolve conflicts, build relationships with people whom they believe to be different from them, and to understand the broad social issues that underlie group tensions and prejudice.
This may involve negotiating changes in their schools and communities. In order to attain this end, participants will become more comfortable sharing their lives and backgrounds as well as helping others in the group to do the same. They will also help to enhance the level of trust and comfort that exists in the group. The hope is that a shared meaning will emerge while in dialogue, providing us with directions by which to proceed.
Important components to this training include:
- Social Justice Education around social identity group development; prejudice and stereotyping and their effects on groups; difference and dominance and the nature of social oppression.
- Consciousness Raising Skill-Building Activities and Facilitated Dialogues which allow us to explore our personal and interpersonal connections to power, privilege, and oppression; understanding and resolving conflicts or resistance.
- Teaching Peace through methods of dialoguing and coalition building across differences; and basic group facilitation skills and their applications in multicultural settings.
- Personal Investment and a Commitment to Continuous Learning from all involved.
- A Willingness to Act on What has been Learned.
For a wonderful collection of guidelines that I find extremely helpful in establishing a good foundation for multicultural practice, see my Blog Post: “Respecting Diversity in the Classroom & Beyond: Multicultural Guidelines”.