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Respect and Acceptance in a Multicultural Society – Page 2

Adapted from Bridgewater State College by permission of Office of Residence Life and Housing

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Introduce facilitators. Explain briefly what the program is about. Emphasize that participation is strongly encouraged. Have participants introduce themselves.

Goals of the Program Share the goals of the program with participants.

1. To provide participants with new information. 2. To give participants the opportunity to think about new ideas and attitudes in a non-threatening manner. 3. To understand what respect is and how it can be conveyed. 4. To learn about the people in the Philadelphia University community. 5. To talk about your responsibility in the Philadelphia University community. 6. To give participants the opportunity to discuss the standards of community living. 7. To create an atmosphere that is conducive to sharing and exploring new attitudes.

We encourage people to have fun, relax, and attempt to enjoy this program. Participation is encouraged.

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Ground Rules We realize that some of you may be wary of a presentation such as this, so the following ground rules will be set for this session.

1. No idea is dumb, stupid or insignificant. 2. We encourage all individuals to share what they feel is appropriate. 3. One idea should be discussed at one time; people should not interrupt each other. Please wait until you are recognized by facilitators to speak. 4. Some people may share some very private and personal information. To respect this, all information presented in this room must stay in the room. 5. Listen fully with an open mind to what other people say. 6. It is perfectly acceptable to disagree with another person, but it must be done in an appropriate and respectful manner. 7. Direct all comments to facilitators, not each other. 8. Use “I” statements, you should only speak for yourself.

It is perfectly acceptable to disagree with another person, but it must be done in an appropriate and respectful manner.

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Defining Respect Have the participants answer the following questions regarding respect.

1. List 3 to 5 people that you respect.

2. What are some reasons you respect these individuals?

Examples include: Caring, solid work ethic, not selfish, think about others, have overcome obstacles, positive outlook, understanding, make a difference, helping people without motive, take pride in their work, etc.

3. What characteristics does another person need to possess in order for you to respect them? Examples include: Honesty, caring supportive, motivating, creative, open-minded, tolerant, genuine, etc.

4. Define Respect. Make sure the following are covered: • Treating someone with high regard and dignity • Looking up to another person • Appreciating others for who they are and the abilities they have • Admiration

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Face to Face This is an activity which will help the group understand the diverse demographics of your START group. The facilitators in charge of the activity will come up with a variety of statements pertaining to the origin and identity of different individuals. One facilitator should make it clear that confidentiality is important in this exercise and what individuals choose to reveal about themselves should be kept in the room and not disclosed to individuals outside of the retreat without permission from a specific individual. Another important ground rule in this activity is that responding to a given statement, whether it is true of you or not, should be based on your desire to reveal this fact and one’s own perception of her or his identity (Challenge by Choice). Facilitators will read the statements one at a time and everyone who that statement pertains to will step forward (if comfortable). For example, a facilitator might read, “is a woman” and all the women in the room will step forward. After a moment, the facilitator will ask all of those people to step back into the circle/line. Statements should cover gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic class, ability level, sexual orientation, religion, age, rural and urban backgrounds, involvements (e.g is an athlete, is an artist, etc), and there are many other possibilities as well. Following the last statement, participants should be thanked for their willingness to share and their involvement in the activity.

After each statement, facilitators should say, “Now, look at the people in the circle. How big is the group compared to the original group? How does it feel for you to be inside the circle, or not?” 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.

If you are a woman. If you are African American or Black. If you are from another country. If you are Jewish. If you were raised by a single parent. If you come from a working-class family. If you were raised in the country. If neither of your parents received a college education. If you were ever held back a grade in school or tracked for non-college courses in school. If you can speak another language. If you have a visible or non-visible physical disability or suffer with a catastrophic or life-threatening illness. If you are left-handed. If you come from a family where alcohol or drugs were/are a problem. If you have ever received public assistance/welfare. If you grew up with violence in your household. If you have ever been on the Dean’s List. If you took a shower today.

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If you have a tattoo. If you or a member of your family has ever been labeled mentally ill or has been in therapy. If you have ever been arrested. If you were ever called fat. If you, a member of your family, or a good friend is gay, lesbian or bisexual. If you have ever experienced being bullied or mistreated. If you ever bullied or mistreated someone. If you are uncomfortable with this exercise. If you are an only child. If you are adopted. If you come from an affluent family. If you are a first generation college student (neither of your parents received a college education). If you are a Christian. If you take medications on a daily basis. If you are a member of a fraternity or sorority. If you are a vegetarian. If you own a gun. If you have been a victim of a violent crime. If you have ever been teased or made fun of. If you have ever teased or made fun of someone. If you withheld information about yourself at any point during this exercise.

Possible processing questions: • How did you feel about this exercise? • What issues came up for you? • How did it feel to be “different”? • Were you surprised at what you learned about someone of your group members? • In which group did you feel good about stepping in? • In which group did you not?

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Take A Stand Several statements will be read about issues of respect and “isms”. Designate each corner of the room as the “Strongly agree,” “Agree,” “Disagree” and the last corner as “Strongly disagree.” Draw an imaginary line down the middle of the room that represents neutrality. Designate this area in the middle as the neutral area. The neutrality line is off limits to everyone- students can be close but not on it. Say something along these lines: “The room corners represent a continuum from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” The middle of the room is an area of neutrality. We’re going to make some statements. We’d like for you to respond by moving to the corner of the room that corresponds with your feelings on the matter. It’s important for you to move to the corner of the room that represents how a statement makes you feel- we want your honest response to these issues, not a conditioned “politically correct” response. You should try not step on the area of neutrality. If someone else makes a compelling point that causes you to move to a different corner, feel free to do so.” If you think your group is responsive enough, as opinions from the “agree” side, the “disagree side and the ones, if any, that are more toward the middle. Try to address the students by their names. Before you begin making statements, stress the importance of the activity and that respecting others’ opinions, even if they are different, is a must. Below are some statements you may use to facilitate this activity. Please try to use questions from each category. Starter questions: Use these more neutral questions to get students in the rhythm of this exercise, and to gauge their willingness to respect the views of other before moving on to more controversial statements. 1. It is okay to leave my tray on the table at lunch because the cafeteria staff gets paid to clean up. 2. Police officers deserve respect unconditionally. 3. Marijuana should be legalized for medical reasons. 4. The United States has been involved in too many wars, many that it should have stayed away from. 5. Women dress the way that they want to be treated. 6. Homosexual couples should be allowed to adopt children. Statements related to race + ethnicity  I would be comfortable dating someone from a different race.  The racist groups should be allowed to hold rallies on campus.  Traditionally underrepresented ethnic groups should be allowed to form organizations that only admit people of their own ethnic group.

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I would avoid sending my child to a school where the population is predominantly African- American. I would avoid sending my child to a school where the population is predominantly Caucasian. A professor who teaches Hispanic studies should be Latino, Latina, Hispanic, or Mexican- American. Because of past oppression, people from traditionally underrepresented ethnic groups should have more scholarship opportunities than “Caucasian” people. I know what affirmative action is. I believe affirmative action is discrimination. You need to be a member of a minority group in order to really understand minority issues. People from minority groups are always using their ethnicity to gain an advantage. You can usually tell if a person is Caucasian or African- American over the phone by the way he or she speaks. I think the confederate flag should be flown on the State Capitol building in South Carolina because of all the history it represents.

Statements Related to Sexual Orientation  I would be comfortable if my roommate were gay.  Being gay is a choice.  I would feel comfortable seeing a commercial with tow lesbians, or two gay men.  Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people have no right to marry.  Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people should not be able to adopt children.  Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people should not be teachers.  A company should have the right to fire an employee because they find out he or she is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.  Gays tend to be effeminate, and lesbians tend to be masculine.  Everyone goes through a period in their life where they are attracted to members of the same sex.  I am bothered when I see it sex couples being affectionate in public.  I would have no problems accepting a family member if he was gay.  I would have no problem accepting a family member if she was a lesbian.  I would have no problem accepting a family member if he or she was bisexual.  I would have no problem accepting a family member if he or she was transgender. Statements related to People with Disabilities  Students with disabilities deserve special accommodations.  I feel comfortable being around a person with visual disabilities.  I treat people with disabilities the same way I treat everybody else.  I resent the fact that some students are allowed more time or special accommodations on their tests because of a disability.  I am aware of any disabled people around me.  Learning disabilities do not qualify as real disabilities.  Parking in a spot reserved for people with disabilities is okay if it’s only as much as I can.  If I see a person who is visibly disabled, I try to help them out as much as I can.

Respect and Acceptance in a Multicultural Society – Page 10 Statements related to Religion  Those who do not follow my religion need guidance.  My religious beliefs never conflict with my friendships.  I respect people with differing religious beliefs than my own.  I feel as though I am a better person because of my religious beliefs.  I think less of those whose religious beliefs contrast with mine.  Christians are judgmental.  I am well informed on the practices of eastern religions.  I am well aware of the holocaust; everyone should remember it. Statement related to Greeks  People who join a sorority or fraternity are buying their friends.  The brotherhood/sisterhood of a fraternity/ sorority is valuable.  Only Caucasian people are admitted into sororities or fraternities. Statements related to Non Traditional Students (students who are 25- years old or older).  Older students are slower learners than younger students.  I would feel comfortable working in an academic group with an older student.  Older students feel comfortable attending class on campus.  Older students have more responsibilities than younger students.

Possible processing questions: • What issues came up during this exercise? • Is there a question you would like to ask another member of the group? • Were there any surprises for you in this exercise? • How did it make you feel to be the only response that appeared to be “different” from the rest of the group?

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Hate – Is it Learned or Innate? Read the following song lyrics and process using the questions listed at the bottom of the page.

Carefully Taught You've got to be taught To hate and fear, You've got to be taught From year to year, It's got to be drummed In your dear little ear You've got to be carefully taught. You've got to be taught to be afraid Of people whose eyes are oddly made, And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade, You've got to be carefully taught. You've got to be taught before it's too late, Before you are six or seven or eight, To hate all the people your relatives hate, You've got to be carefully taught!

NOTE: Consider whether the lines in italics are appropriate for your audience. If room is media and internet accessible, it is recommended that you play the following clip:

Processing questions: • These lyrics from the Broadway musical “South Pacific” make the argument that hate is learned, what do you think? • Where does prejudice/discrimination come from? • What types of comments, jokes, etc. have you heard at your home? • Do you feel that you learned your stereotypes at home? From your friends? • Do you think we can be taught to care? • What are the institutions and groups who influence your thinking?

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Showing Respect Ask participants to share ideas on the following questions.

What are some ways you can show respect to other individuals? Some ideas to share if the participants do not think of them: • Be appropriate • Be pleasant • Be polite • Offer help when needed • Treat others the way you want to be treated • Listen when others are speaking • Put yourself in their place

What are some ways that I can make a difference when it comes to accepting others? Some ideas to share if the participants do not think of them: • Confront jokes, comments, stereotypes • Learn more about people who are different from you. • Be a role model • Watch what you say • Understand that words can hurt

Wrap Up Ask participants if they have any other questions, comments, or issues that they would like to discuss. Once all the questions are answered. Thank participants for their participation.