Well, kind of...
I've spent the last few months taking some time to figure out where I was going with CCK. And I have a confession: I still don't know what I'm doing.
These past few weeks and months are really throwing me for a loop. For anyone that cares about issues related to diversity, inclusion, and equity - every day since January 20th has been somewhat of a nightmare. And it seems to get worse with each passing day. I think it's leaving all of us confused about how to move forward, what we'll tell our kids, how we'll get to a place that doesn't feel so divisive.
I know I'm referring to politics, which I tend to stay away from here on the blog, by mentioning January 20th, but really everything that I'm thinking about is not about politics. It's about us as people - how we get along, how we treat each other, and how we see each other. Over the past few weeks and months I've felt something. Something profound. Something that's sitting in the pit of my stomach. I've had the feeling that the way we're approaching things is not quite right. Not that people fighting on behalf of inclusion are doing something wrong. In fact, I think just the opposite - I so admire all those who step up and lend their time, expertise, and voice to a movement. But I do feel that there is something missing. Something relational, something human, that part feels like it's missing. I'm not sure what that is, but I'm going to use this blog to talk out my thoughts. I always tell people that I think out loud, so here goes...
The truth is that I don't know what I'm doing and I don't have it figured out. But I'm trying to make sense of it all and I'd rather do that with some company than by myself. And besides - I missed ya! And I hope that you missed me. A little? A teeny bit? Not trying to sound desperate here, but...
Sigh Ok, well I missed you and frankly, I was a bit lonely. And going a little crazy with all these thoughts running through my head without a really good way to get them out (friends and family can only tolerate so much and not everyone's boss is ok with a friend calling in the middle of the workday to talk about diversity - go figure). So I'm back. And I'm doing things a little bit differently. At least for now. Until I have it all figured out.
This could be awhile.
So I want to let you know what to expect from the new CCK. What I'll be bringing and what I won't. Brace yourselves...
What you will get:
More of ME: That's right people - I'm bringing you more of who I really am. That crazy rambling you just read above - that's the real me and you're about to get more of it. The truth is, I'm a little nutty and all over the place. I make mistakes and try to learn from them. I definitely do not have it all figured out. And by 'it all' I mean anything. It may not be pretty, but it'll be real - and hopefully at least a little entertaining.
Honesty: About what I know and what I don't. About my thoughts - no matter how outrageous. And I'm definitely calling out the bullshit that I see, because I live in DC and trust me, there's plenty. You'll also get to see and read about my mistakes - and there are a lot to choose from. At least a few times a week I smack myself on the forehead and yell 'D'oh!' a la Homer Simpson (sometimes in my head like I should and sometimes out loud to the dismay of others around me). In my CCK blogs I've always said that it's important not to expect perfection from yourself. And modeling is how people learn, so here goes...
Thoughts and feelings mixed with psych nerdiness: You didn't think I was going to change completely did you? You'll still get interesting tips and tricks, fascinating psych facts and how they relate to diversity, and information about easy ways to implement this stuff in your own lives. I'm learning right alongside you so if you are a nerd like me and have interesting tidbits - please share!
What you won't get:
Pictures of my kids: It's just a thing that I have. I don't think there's anything wrong with posting pictures of your kids online. In fact, I love that my friends do it and I get to see their adorable little ones. I know I'm weird, but hey, we all have our things. So, I'll be talking about my kids and the ridiculous things that they say and the silly things we do together - I just won't be posting any pictures of them. So when I say that they're the cutest kids on earth, you're just going to have to take my word for it.
Clean language: I'm from New York. I curse (sorry Mom). Hopefully not in front of the kids. But a study has shown that people who curse are smarter so I'll gladly own this one. I'll be sharing how I think and that sometimes (ok often, but I'll try to tone it down a little) involves expletives. If that offends, feel free not to read - I'm not going to edit things for you (unless you're my Mom - then I'll take requests).
Answers: Yeah, sorry to say, I just don't have 'em. In fact, I have way more questions than answers. The more that I try to find an answer, the more questions pop up. So I'll ask questions, give you my thoughts, and ask for yours. Who knows - maybe we'll figure all of this out together.
So there you have it. I'm going to write things that strike me, that I'm thinking about, that I find ridiculous, funny, scary, and intriguing. You'll still get the nerdy me, but you'll also get weird me, funny me, and freaked-out me - all with an eye on diversity and kids. I won't be coming at you quite as often (once a week was a little much for you and me amiright?), but don't worry, just when you think you haven't heard from me in awhile, I'll pop back up.
If you have the time (because that's just what everyone has an abundance of), take a minute to comment below and let me know what you want to see, hear, and know. I can't promise I'll have an answer, but I can promise that I'll try. And that's all we can really do right?
If you want more of me - click the button below to sign up for the newsletter. Because you'll miss me if you don't hear from me (I just know it!)
We made it! We are at the last letter in the alphabet of Cultural Competence! You may be wondering then, why the last letter is zero...as in zilch...as in nothing...as in nada...
You get the picture.
So you've done your due diligence. You've read a couple of these posts. (Haven't read any yet? Here's where you should start) Maybe you've even read all of them (way to go you!), but my question is - are there any suggestions from the posts that you've tried? What have you actually put into place? What letter have you read and said, 'I'm going to do that!' and then actually gone out and done it? One of them? Two? None?
If the last answer - zero - is the most accurate one, I applaud you for your honesty. But now is the time to change that number. Reading all of this - it's great for information. Knowledge is an important part of acquiring cultural competence. It's absolutely essential. But action is too. And without it, your kids are not benefiting as much as you think. Remember - they need to acquire skills as well. That takes practice.
So what else do you need from me? What can I help you with to make this more accessible? What does CCK need to do better to make this easier? I am committed to walking this journey with you. It doesn't have to be something you do all on your own and it doesn't have to be hard! If this is truly important to you, if you really want to increase your child's cultural competence, if you can commit to that - then I will commit too.
And to those of you who answered one or more - wow. I am honestly in awe of you. Share your story. Let us know what you tried and what you learned. What worked and what didn't. I love that you want to learn from me, but I think it's even more important to learn from each other.
I hope you keep checking the website, reading the blog, and receiving the newsletter. We are always growing, changing, and evolving - just like you and just like your kids. We will continue to provide you with more valuable content and information so stay tuned.
Make sure to join the CCK family. If you aren't already signed up for the newsletter, it's an absolute must. Just click the button below.
Stay on this journey with me! I can't wait to see where it takes us...
Dr. Sweeney is a licensed school psychologist and cultural competence expert. Here are her musings on life in a multicultural world.
Interested in writing a guest blog post? Contact me for more information!
Photos used under Creative Commons from ri Sa, Berries.com, Bread for the World, NCinDC, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Sharon Mollerus, Andrew and Annemarie, pang yu liu, Simon Blackley, Tambako the Jaguar, quinn.anya, Fiseha Hailemichael, Soft-Graphix, maeve_ab9, vastateparksstaff, StockMonkeys.com