One of the philosophies of Culturally Competent Kids is that talking about diversity does not have to be a drag. Yes, having hard conversations is important. Yes, it is essential to confront things that might make you uncomfortable. But I think it is also important to find a way to make the conversation uplifting. In my practice in Washington DC, one of my philosophies is to work towards your goals from a place of strength. Yes, there are areas that need to be improved, but if all you do is focus on your deficits, it is hard to see how you will be able to work your way out of crippling depression or anxiety. So, I want to take that approach here with CCK as well. I know that we have a long way to go, but what areas of improvement have you seen in our society that surprised, astounded, or amazed you? I'll start...
When I was in grad school, I taught a class on diversity for four semesters. I remember in my first semester telling the class that I did not think that I would see a Black president in my lifetime. Two semesters later, I was eating my words because Barack Obama had become a serious contender for the presidency. I was never so happy, or so shocked, to be proven wrong. Whether or not you agree with his political views, you have to admit that Obama being elected (twice!) was significant progress. It makes me wonder what's possible in the next 10, 20, 50 years.
Take a quick minute and fill out the anonymous survey about where you have seen progress and what you predict will happen in the coming years. I will report back on what you all have said so we can reflect on how far we've come and get excited for where we are going. I hope that this invigorates and inspires you-I know it will inspire me!
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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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