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Cultural Diversity, Breaking Barriers, & Racist Micro Aggressions
Another thing that you can do is the family drawing and this is actually very neat. When I did some research, particularly on multiracial children, there is a vast majority, just a huge amount of art materials that are designed for race and multiracial kids. I actually have a box of crayons and it’s called “The Multi-Cultural Crayon Box.” It’s sixteen different skin tone colors, ranging from very dark brown to very flush color and anywhere in between. So you have materials like that and throw them out on the table and ask the child, or one of the adults, pick the one that closer matches your skin. Crayola also has colors for eyes and hair and things like that, so it’s very neat because sometimes when that child opens that crayon box and they say, “Well okay I’m not black, I’m not white, where do I fit in all this?” They have dowels, they have felt, and craft materials. So it’s very, very neat if you’re going to be working with these families on a regular basis, I do strongly encourage you to have some of those things because this may be the first time this child has a chance to use things and go, “Wow, look. This does look like me.”
So with this, again you do it with an individual or with every member of the family, you want to allow them the opportunity to find themselves. As Suzanne was saying, we don’t want to assume that we know how they define themselves. I’ve used the example before of Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods has a very diverse background and he actually developed a term called, “Cablinasian” to define himself because he’s Caucasian, he’s Asian and so that’s how he defines himself. He came up with his own term. That’s important for these families, they need to figure out who am I and where do I fit in with all of this, especially within large society and within their own extended family.
You want to be careful to not repeat labeling patterns. Don’t presume to call them “multiracial family” or a “multiethnic family”. Explain that you’re a different race, how do you say that. How do you tell people about this? What are they comfortable with? And then that gives the individual in the family an opportunity to define themselves and then you as the counselor, the therapist, know where to go from there and how do they prefer to be referred to as a family.
are the PowerPoints that accompany the instructor's lecture for this track.
- Degges-White, S. (2008). Working with Culturally Diverse Families. Lecture presented at the Indiana Counseling Association Annual Conference.
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