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Building Bridges across Differences: A Look at Race, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Valerie R. Cherry, Ph.D. Michelle M. McCoy, M.S.W., M.Div. Objectives. Define the terms race and ethnicity Describe two forms of religion/spirituality most commonly misunderstood
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Building Bridges across Differences: A Look at Race, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Valerie R. Cherry, Ph.D. Michelle M. McCoy, M.S.W., M.Div.
Objectives • Define the terms race and ethnicity • Describe two forms of religion/spirituality most commonly misunderstood • List three benefits of having a Gay/Straight Alliance at Job Corps • Define at least three GLBTQ vocabulary definitions • List two benefits of integrating cultural awareness and competency in program development
Why This Session? • The Importance of Culture • Awareness • Sensitivity • Competency • Improved Retention and Outcome
Simply Stated A body of learned beliefs, traditions, principles, and guides for behavior that are shared among members of a particular group
What Is Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity?
Simply Stated The ability to be open to learning about and accepting different cultural and social groups
Simply Stated The ability to think, feel, and act in ways that acknowledge, respect, and build upon ethnic, socio-cultural, sexual, and linguistic diversity. The ability to effectively operate within different cultural contexts
“Cultural Jeopardy” Definitions
Multiculturalism Ethnicity Race Discrimination $100 As a biological concept, it defines groups of people based on a set of genetically transmitted characteristics. Race
$200 Multiculturalism Ethnicity Race Discrimination Sharing a strong sense of identity with a particular religious, racial, or national group. Ethnicity
RACE VS ETHNICITY RACE ETHNIC GROUPS African, Irish, German, African, Haitian, Caribbean Chinese, Filipino Japanese Samoan, Fijian, Marshallese • White • Black or African • American • Asian • Native Hawaiian and • Other Pacific Islander
Hispanic/Latino or Spanish Origin Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American
$300 Multiculturalism Ethnicity Race Discrimination Unequal and/or less favorable treatment of individuals because of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, actual or perceived sexual orientation, age, and/or disability. Discrimination
$400 Multiculturalism Ethnicity Race Discrimination The recognition and acknowledgement that society is pluralistic. In addition to the dominant cultural, there exists many other cultures based around ethnicity, sexual orientation, geography, RELIGION, gender, and class. Multiculturalism
Religious Beliefs • PAGAN RELIGIONS • Any of various religions other than Christianity or Judaism or Islamism. • Buddhism • Hinduism • WICCA • Legally recognized religion founded by Gerald Gardner in the 1950’s • Nature is sacred • Karma and afterlife • Many call themselves witches, but do not worship satan • Believe in the use of magic and spell work, • More than one God/Goddess • Reverence for ancestors
Wiccan Pentacle/Pentagram Sacred symbol of protection Represents the four elements of nature, fire, earth, air, and water, as well as spirituality. Two core ethical beliefs: “And it harm none, do what thou wilt”, and the Law of Threefold Return that states “Three times what thou givest returns to thee”
Religious Beliefs and Job Corps • PRH 6.8 Student Civil Rights, including Religious Rights and Legal Services • Respect for religious rights Job Corps centers must ensure that each student has the right to worship, or not worship, as he or she chooses. b. Religious activities permitted on center Job Corps centers must permit students to express their views related to religion and to exercise their right to religious freedom. Job Corps centers must permit residents to engage in voluntary religious activities, including holding religious services, on center. Reasonable time, place and manner restrictions may be imposed, however.
Self Awareness IMPASSE I could tell you If I wanted to What makes me What I am But I don’t Really want to And you don’t give a damn Langston Hughes 1967
Video A GIRL LIKE ME
Purpose The purpose of this part of the presentation is to situate sexual orientation as a diversity factor within Job Corps. The intent of this conversation is to inform and educate. It is not intended to dissuade anyone’s personal opinions or religious beliefs regarding homosexuality. Rather it is designed to address issues that prevent the workplace from being a safe, secure and productive environment for all trainees and employees.
What is a Gay-Straight Alliance? • A Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a student-run club which provides: • A safe place for students to meet • Support for each other • A forum to talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity • An organized way to work to end homophobia • A social outlet for GLBTQ students and their straight allies • A way to lessen the isolation that GLBTQ students might otherwise experience
What GSA IS NOT: • GSA is not about SEX • GSA is not about pushing 'the gay agenda’ • GSA is not about 'recruiting' people to become gay • GSA is about creating a safer center for everyone
What Is Sexual Orientation? Everyone has a sexual orientation. Everyone falls on a scale of somewhere between purely heterosexual and purely homosexual. Heterosexual Bisexual Homosexual
Assigned Sex: The label the doctors gave you at birth based on your external Genitalia Gender Identity: How you feel inside about what your gender is Gender Presentation How other people perceive you Sexual Orientation: Who you are attracted to Gender and Orientation Fluidity
Vocabulary • GLBTQQIA: An acronym for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex individuals and their Allies • Queer: Gay, lesbian and trans. people often use the word in a positive way to include all people who are not “straight” • Transgender: Having a gender identity that is different from one’s biological sex (drag queen/king, transsexual, androgyny) M2F, F2M
Vocabulary • Sexual minority: An umbrella term for people whose sexuality is expressed in less common ways; may include people who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender, Two-Spirit, third gender, etc. • Heterosexism: The presumption that everyone is heterosexual and/or the belief that heterosexual individuals are superior to homosexual and/or bisexual individuals. Often unintentional.
To Say Or Not To Say... Say: Intersex Instead of: Hermaphrodite Say: GLBT Instead of: Homosexual Say: Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) Instead of: Sex Change If you’re not sure…ask.
Video ARE YOU STRAIGHT?
WHAT IS HETEROSEXUAL PRIVILEGE? I Have Heterosexual Privilege If……
Could we have a higher percentage of GLBTQ students in Job Corps? • At risk for lower grades • At risk to miss or drop out of school • 25 to 40+ percent of homeless youth may be GLBTQ • Increased stress, depression and anxiety • Significantly higher percentage of AODA disorders and suicide attempts
Gay/Straight Alliance Saves the Day • Student run • Staff facilitates • GSA start-up kits online • If students request centers must allow GSAs • Legal support/suggestions in kit • Support for resistance in kit as well
Angell's GSA • Support, PFLAG, PRIDE Activities • Want to educate students and staff • Bullying/ Respect presentation-CPP and Dorms (SSTs) • MYTH: “Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean you’re attractive.” • Unacceptable language: • Gay slurs -“that's so gay” • Racial slurs -differently-abled
Angell Students Talk About GSA Impact: • “made people aware” • “decreased bullying, aggression, discrimination towards any group” • “made it better-people aren't as rude/crude...staff and students stop and think” • “I can be open now...I even talked to one of my dorm staff about how I go about dating like everyone else”
What do Angell Students get out of GSA? • “It's OK to be friends with gays now” • “It's not just cultural diversity...we get harassed and beat down a lot sometimes by our families” • “Get to be a part of something” • “Fun, LAUGHTER, reassurance, support, education, security, PRIDE, not ridiculed, sense of purpose”
What do Angell Students get out of GSA? • “I get to change a negative into a positive” • It’s a chance to advocate for something we believe in” • It helps me be more comfortable in talking about what I believe in”
How to show you are safe: Stickers and posters
GSA Students: What they want us to know • “Not to be afraid of us” • Can’t catch ‘the gay’; We aren’t contagious • “We don’t try to recruit others” (No free toasters) • Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I’m attracted to EVERYONE that is my gender • “We’re just people”
Individually • How do your own experiences and values impact they way you work on center? • Do you continuously engage in an open and honest dialogue about culture and diversity with diverse groups of students?
On Center • Value diversity • Conduct cultural self-assessment • Identify cross-cultural dynamics • Institutionalize cultural knowledge • Adapt service delivery to diversity within and between cultures Source: Adapted from National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown University
BENEFITS • SAFE ENVIRONMENT • RETENTION • OUTCOMES • WELLNESS
RESOURCES • National Center for Cultural Competencehttp://www.georgetown.edu/research/gucchd/nccc/ • Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity A Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General • http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/mentalhealth/cre/ • Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays www.pflag.org • Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network www.glsen.org • www.gsanetwork.org