|Identity Collage (home, language, religion)|
We all sat quiet for a brief moment, pondering our facilitator's question and then a few hands went up. "Not all Asians excel at mathematics." "Not all women want children." To summarise the answers to Mr. Wanyenya's final question: All of these "positive" stereotypes are still stereotypes which makes them just as exclusionary as "negative" stereotypes. For example: if we assume that a person who is visibly of Asian decent is a genius at math and we ask that person to tutor us on the subject, how then does that person feel when they have to tell us that they struggle with math as well? The answer: They don't feel very good. And we have gone from thinking we are complimenting someone to actually making them feel inferior without even intending to. That is just one of the many examples of how "positive" stereotypes do not actually exist. I learned a lot at the "Effective Collaboration Across Differences" workshop, but this is one of the lessons that stuck with me and caused me to really pay close attention to the words I say and the actions I take.
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