Cultural Diversity Self Assessment
Self-assessment is important because it enables you as an individual to learn more about yourself and to identify areas in life where you are weak and also your strengths in regards to cultural identity. As an individual, I am sometimes aware of my biasness and the ways it affects my thinking. This has led to me challenging people whenever I fell that they have made mistakes such as jokes or comments that are connected with racial issues and appear sensitive. It means that I do not sometimes take part in such jokes that would derogate an individual group. My strength lies in the ability to sometimes or always assess my weaknesses and strengths when dealing with diversity issues. I always never make assumptions, therefore seek for clarification whenever I do not understand an issue to avoid being misquoted or misunderstood.
I sometimes understand the reasons for not having diversity within my social circle and this is because I sometimes I do not believe that it is a must I have a friend of color to be culturally competent. My view is that people of color require support and the best way they can do this is by connecting each other in a group. I, therefore find myself sometimes connected to people with different appearances from mine. I always appreciate richness in other cultures and honor their holidays and events thus the reason I will never justify discriminatory acts. Nevertheless, regardless of my opinions and thoughts regarding people of color, I always respect other people’s beliefs and ideas even at a point where we never agree. This is because I sometimes know that my people are stereotypes.
The Race Card Project is a clear indication of the ways in which racism is an issue that is affecting majority of people across the world. People across the world are not only judged based on their skin color, but also their names. You will find a woman who is tobacco-pinkin being judged and discriminated against because of their color regardless of being a white. This shows that racism or stereotyping exists in many ways. In another case where a man named Jamal is assumed to be from a different racial encounter though he is a white. The name itself can be used to stereotype on an individual negatively regardless of their skin color. To make matters worse, a father will not feel comfortable amidst his children who took the skin color of their mother because of the assumptions regarding how they view him or consider him based on his skin color.
However, the most important aspects on the race card are the ways in which it positively depicts racism. For instance, the description of racism which is described as an act that is learnt and not inborn. This statement is true because most people develop a habit of prejudice out of societal influence. Based on these facts, racism should therefore not be used to determine an individual’s future. Each and every person is unique in their way and has the potential to go as far in life as they want as long as they put extra effort. Nevertheless, to handle the issues of racism in the world, people should talk more about them which will make them feel included and learn on some of the ways to overcome them.
After attending the nine lessons, I managed to learn several things regarding diversity, ethnicity, racism and prejudice. In lesson 1, I learnt about conducting a self assessment on your racial beliefs and behavior. Based on the analysis that I conducted on myself, I managed to score above average and this enabled me to understand where I stand in regards to issues of culture. This I believe has changed my perception on the ways in which I view race thus gives me the courage to work on areas where I failed. If I could imagine not attending this lesson, then right now I could not have a clear knowledge on my cultural views. In lesson 2, I believe I acquired more knowledge about diversity in various aspects of life. Diversity competence is important since it helps in reducing the cases prejudice among people by making them more vigilant regarding the issues that led to them having particular attitudes towards a particular culture or race (Philips, 2014). In lesson 3, the Whiteness Project was an eye opener to me. This I believe because I am also white, my perception on the ways in which others were stereotyped is totally different from what I thought about and this was revealed about the Whiteness Project.
In lesson 4, we learnt about individual perception and the ways in which it contributes to racism. This I believe is an important topic because perception is the reason many people get it all wrong about other cultures. In lesson 5, I learnt ways to become socially vigilant. This I believe helped me to identify whether I am socially aware of the ways in which I perceive other cultures. In lesson 7, we looked through the issue of cultural lens. This I believe is an important topic because I have never been aware of my cultural lens. Lesson 8 stressed on the importance of working together regardless of race or culture. This I believe encouraged unity in class as we worked together to ensure that we learnt more about each other’s culture. Lastly, lesson 9 gave me an idea regarding what influence people’s sphere of culture and attitude. This I believe that enabled me to identify what are my sphere of influence and the influence it has on the ways in which I view other people with different cultural background (Victoria, 2014).
When conducting the reflection paper, we were asked to look into various perceptive of the people especially what led to stereotyping. This is because there are several ways in which race is depicted in the nation and this can be reflected by other’s thoughts and perception about one’s color or race. While conducting, this exercises, I leant and observed that culture is an issue that comes from within an individual but the perceptions in people is what leads to prejudice that is experienced across the world. Some of the insights I gained about the topic mainly involve how to identify my perspectives about race. I also learnt that racism is not inborn but something people acquire with time. The biggest challenge that I see for myself right now is in regards to changing my attitude to fully reflect a positive view about race. I will use what I leaned to better my understanding on culture and also to educate other people on the importance having a positive cultural perspective.
Philips, K. 2014). “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter.” Scientific American, 311(4): 1-9
Victoria, P. (2014). “Inviting Everyone In.” Scientific American, 331(4): 52-57