Participants will engage in an exercise designed to reveal hidden biases, within a safe, non-judgmental environment. As hidden biases are revealed, a new understanding of self and an openness to other cultures will result, strengthening a sense of trust and community. The exercise will involve sorting characteristics and assigning those characteristics to photographs of two separate children ? one Caucasian and one Mexican-American. Characteristics will include things such as socio-economic status, school district, status of parents (married or not), etc. In past demonstrations, participants generally make biased assumptions and sort the characteristics accordingly, revealing some prejudice. When the characteristics are then properly assigned for the participant, the participant realizes inherent biases and acknowledges them, an important step in overcoming racism and embracing diversity.
GOAL/OUTCOME #1 Self-awareness through active participation in an exercise that brings to light potential biased thinking
GOAL/OUTCOME #2 The reduction of biased thinking and the closure of racial divides
GOAL/OUTCOME #3 A stronger sense of community through learning about cultures that may have previously been misunderstood
Cynthia Blosenhauer ‘16, ESL Coordinator, OCALS Learning Services Cynthia Blosenhauer is the ESL coordinator for OCALS Learning Services, a not-for-profit literacy organization serving Orleans County and surrounding areas. She holds a teaching certification in elementary education, a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a master’s degree in American history. She works in coordination with the Farmworkers Coalition to serve the local migrant population by recruiting students and offering instruction in English as a second language.