Why is understanding culture important if we are community builders? What kind of cultural community can you envision for yourself? As community builders, understanding culture is our business.
Why is understanding culture important if we are community builders? What kind of cultural community can you envision for yourself? As community builders, understanding culture is our business. No matter where you live, you are working with and establishing relationships with people--people who all have cultures.
Here is one viewpoint. It includes groups that we are born into, such as race, national origin, gender, class, or religion.
It can also include a group we join or become part of. For example, it is possible to acquire a new culture by moving to a new country or region, by a change in our economic status, or by becoming disabled. When we think of culture this broadly we realize we all belong to many cultures at once.
How might this apply to you? Why is culture important? It influences their views, their values, their humor, their hopes, their loyalties, and their worries and fears.
So when you are working with people and building relationships with them, it helps to have some perspective and understanding of their cultures.
We are all human beings. We all love deeply, want to learn, have hopes and dreams, and have experienced pain and fear. This chapter will give you practical information about how to understand culture, establish relationships with people from cultures different from your own, act as an ally against racism and other forms of discrimination, create organizations in which diverse groups can work together, overcome internalized oppression, and build strong and diverse communities.
This section is an introduction to understanding culture, and will focus on: What culture is The importance of understanding culture in community building Envisioning your cultural community How to get started in building communities that encourage diversity. But first, it is important to remember that everyone has an important viewpoint and role to play when is comes to culture.
The world is becoming increasingly diverse and includes people of many religions, languages, economic groups, and other cultural groups.
It is becoming clear that in order to build communities that are successful at improving conditions and resolving problems, we need to understand and appreciate many cultures, establish relationships with people from cultures other than our own, and build strong alliances with different cultural groups.
Additionally, we need to bring non-mainstream groups into the center of civic activity. In order to build communities that are powerful enough to attain significant change, we need large numbers of people working together. If cultural groups join forces, they will be more effective in reaching common goals, than if each group operates in isolation.
Each cultural groups has unique strengths and perspectives that the larger community can benefit from. We need a wide range of ideas, customs, and wisdom to solve problems and enrich community life. Bringing non-mainstream groups into the center of civic activity can provide fresh perspectives and shed new light on tough problems.
Understanding cultures will help us overcome and prevent racial and ethnic divisions. Racial and ethnic divisions result in misunderstandings, loss of opportunities, and sometimes violence.
Racial and ethnic conflicts drain communities of financial and human resources; they distract cultural groups from resolving the key issues they have in common. People from different cultures have to be included in decision-making processes in order for programs or policies to be effective.
Without the input and support of all the groups involved, decision-making, implementation, and follow through are much less likely to occur.Workplace diversity is an issue endemic to American business.
african american business man image by Elke Dennis from srmvision.com Our Diversity in America collection takes a good look at what it means to be “American” and examines the rich heritages that make up our country. Each culture provides its own special and irreplaceable contribution to our understanding of America today, and The World & I Online showcases this here.
Models of minority ethnic identity and White identity development are described, along with examples of ways in which the models can be used as heuristics for helping students to think about their own and others' ethnicity.
In addition, the benefits of promoting inclusion, respect, acceptance, and appreciation of diversity were also examined in the context of their impact on the understanding that when the potential, capacity, and talent of all members of society are optimally developed, all of society benefits.
Diversity Is America's 21st Century Strength. but more broadly in using America's diversity to strengthen its influence in the world. Largely because of immigration, the US birth rate is near. Institutional diversity serves as one of the fundamental hallmarks of American higher education.
After a long history of support for many institutional types, the past 40 Author: Michael Harris.