For those of you who are not in Northeast USA, ignoring the news, or just refusing to look outside, we have a blizzard on our hands here in Washington, DC. It has been incredible--over 36 hours of snowfall and over 2 feet on the ground. Some of us are fine with just staying inside for the next week and a half and some of us need...to...get...out...of...the...house! Driving anywhere isn't an option and even walking is a struggle so your immediate community, your neighbors, are your lifeline.
I love this article because so often when I hear talk of immigrant communities, I hear derogatory and insulting statements about why they cannot acclimate to their adopted country or that they only spend time with people from their home country. I think people so often fail to recognize the importance of community. In a blizzard like this, it becomes incredibly obvious why community is important, but it is important all of the time. Life is not easy and having people around you who genuinely care about you is essential. It is often difficult for many immigrant families to find community outside of people from their home country, because let's face it, Americans aren't always super welcoming. (Need proof?)
So think about your own community and how you would fare without them. Then read the article and put yourself in their shoes. How would these people get along without the community that they created? Could that sense of community have been recreated with others? How welcoming would you have been if these families moved into your neighborhood?
In a previous blog post, I talked about getting adolescents to talk about race. This is a great article to use to start a conversation. It will be interesting to hear their perspective.
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Dr. Sweeney is a licensed school psychologist and cultural competence expert. Here are her musings on life in a multicultural world.
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