This workshop requires PRE-WORK to be completed in advance.
The following are the instructions for how to prepare for participation in our workshop at 12:30 pm on July 8. It will be important to create and bring your Culture Box to the workshop, as it will be an essential element.
Workshop Facilitators: Rick McGee, Angela Byars-Winston, and Simon Williams
Culture Box Instructions
Your “culture box” should contain three physical objects that represent important parts of your life story, your culture, or your identities. Through breakout rooms near the start of the workshop, you will be sharing your culture box with 3-5 other people, depending on how many attend the workshop. Since the meeting is virtual, you should choose objects you can either show as a picture by sharing your screen, or something you can hold in front of your camera if it is not amenable to a 2-dimensional picture.
Your culture box items should reflect your social identities, including, for example, race, gender, ethnicity, age, ability status, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, job status, nationality, veteran status, etc. Please focus on whatever social identities you feel are most important to your personal story, but make sure at least one of your objects reflect your experiences with your racial identity.
The goal of creating and sharing the culture box is to help people get to know each other, and gain a better understanding of some of the experiences that have made you who you are. Although we are all curious about others, we often do not know how or have the opportunity to start get-acquainted conversations. Getting to know each other can include joyous and/or difficult challenges that you may have encountered related to your culture and identities. As we will describe in the workshop, it also turns out to be a very effective tool for initiating deeper conversations of many kinds.
Please let the “culture box” become a way for your colleagues to get to know you even more fully and richly. Be creative, take prudent risks to tell your story, but please do not feel any pressure to reveal anything you do not wish to. And have fun!
*These instructions are adapted from the Northwestern University Change Makers Program and the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) Culturally Aware Mentoring workshop.