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Intersectional Circles of Identity
As we listened to the Green siblings and other interviewees share their stories and wisdom around events connected with the historic Little Rock Central High School desegregation chapter of the Civil Rights Movement, we worked to identify themes and patterns of learning that might help others to connect with and more deeply understand not only the events around Central High School desegregation, but also how the intersectional circles of individual, family and community identity impact how all of us engage and relate to all of humanity.
Re-Read the Touchstones together
In your conversation circle, re-read and review the Touchstones together. Be certain to begin this process each time with these reminders.
Processing Each Set of Questions
In your conversation circles, take a few minutes to listen to the selected set of interviews and read the section together aloud. Then take 10 to 15 minutes to journal individually. Once everyone is finished, begin your time of sharing and listening. Take whatever amount of time is needed for everyone who wants to share to share. Remembering the Touchstones, feel free to offer an occasional “Honest, Open Question” but refrain from “fixing, saving, advising or correcting”. Most importantly, set a goal to listen deeply and develop deeper understanding of the others in your circle and of your own experiences.
Click images above to listen to stories…
No matter what family or community you are part of, you have numerous skills, talents, perspectives and abilities that make you unique. Stereotyping tends to flatten all individuality into one, broad and exaggerated caricature based upon the larger group one is a part of. In this way, stereotyping is dehumanizing. When we stereotype an individual, we also attempt to steal the individual’s right to engage with society in a way that is consistent with their own inherent right to define or “name” themselves.
- What are your unique skills, talents, perspectives and abilities? How do you use these one-of-a-kind gifts within your family or communities?
- Empathy means being able to “feel with” others’ experiences. In what ways do your unique qualities enable you to empathize with others within your family or communities?
- Sometimes we are called upon within our families or communities to provide support for individuals or the group in some way. How do your unique qualities enable you to provide support for your family or communities?
- Occasionally, we have to challenge an idea, perspective or action that our family or one of our communities has embraced. Have you ever felt the responsibility to provide a voice of challenge within your family or one of your communities? How did your unique individual qualities help with this? How did your family or community respond?