Happy Summer! It is officially the 3rd day of summer vacation and many teachers are enjoying their ‘summer off’ by attending workshops to become better teachers. As Dr. Joel, our superintendent, said in his introduction, June is for workshops, July is for conferences and August is for working with students and families again.
This was the 20th year for the Multicultural Institute. Lee Mun Wah was the presenter of “The Emotions of Cultural Proficiency.” His presentation and time for conversation was a good beginning step in taking the journey to becoming more culturally competent. Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, helped me to experience and understand some of the benefits and challenges of growing up in a diverse area. Teaching on the Navajo Reservation and overseas added to my knowledge base of what it means to be an American and some of the privileges that comes with it. However, teaching students and learning from their parents from around the world has helped me to continue to grow in the area of cultural proficiency, but it is a never ending journey that includes race, gender, socio economics and so much more.
Lee Mun Wah is a dynamic speaker and writer that really articulated some of the Most Important Points of what many people are afraid to ask and acknowledge in the realm of Multicultural teaching and Diversity. His question of “Will I be honest?” is very true of what people will or will not reveal about their life. If a person feels safe or trusted or valued, generally they will be honest, if they do not, they will say what they think needs to be said and an opportunity is lost for honest communication. We will be become a culturally proficient society when we can be honest at home and at work.
Below is an article Lee Wuh Mah, wrote and is on his website, that offers some important points to ponder and reflect upon to help our own journeys of cultural understanding. 21_Ways_to_stop_a_Diversity_Conversation
Here is TED talk that Lee Mun Wah In November 2013 that touched upon many on of the topics that he discussed today in Lincoln
Published on Nov 20, 2013 by You Tube
Lee Mun Wah is an internationally renowned Chinese American documentary filmmaker, author, poet, Asian folk teller, educator, community therapist and master diversity trainer. He is the Founder and Executive Director of StirFry Seminars & Consulting, a diversity training company that provides educational tools and workshops on cross-cultural communication and awareness, mindful facilitation, and conflict mediation techniques. His most famous film about racism, The Color of Fear, won the Gold Medal for Best Social Studies Documentary and in 1995, Oprah Winfrey did a one-hour special on the film and Lee Mun Wah’s life. In 2013, he will be releasing his latest film, If These Halls Could Talk, which focuses on college students speaking their truth about racism and other diversity issues in higher education and beyond. Lee Mun Wah talks about the power of cultural perspective and the need to reach beyond the superficial in making cross-cultural connections.