BAM! is about helping you grow and expand your multicultural understanding. You’ll learn about diversity and how to be an active advocate and leader for social change. Please make a splash in this project with us at the CWC! During this course you will watch video clips about each topic, answer challenge questions to test your understanding, complete activities for expanding your multicultural understanding, and have opportunities for self-reflection.
So… get ready for BAM!
We recommend completing these sections in order to obtain the whole experience, but if you feel like you’re itching to check out a later part before an earlier part, that’s cool too!
Awareness of Multicultural Identities — Learn about culture and who you are as a cultural being!
Privilege vs. Oppression — Explore your intersecting identities and the experiences of privilege and oppression that may impact you and others around you.
How Oppression Hurts Everyone — Examine the idea that oppression hurts everyone, regardless of your privileged social identities…how can this be?
What is Allyship and Skills for Allyship? — Consider what allyship looks like and how to actually act as an advocate for social justice!
What are multicultural competencies?
The term refers to an ongoing learning process often characterized by the following five components:
- Awareness — gaining an understanding of yourself as a cultural being and the ways in which you experience privilege and oppression.
- Skills — gaining specific tools for reflecting multicultural competence and for putting one’s competence into practice. When we use Skills we are actually doing something to contribute to a more socially just world!
- Sensitivity — attaining a critical consciousness that culture is a foundational part of all of our interactions.
- Knowledge — building a more complete and accurate understanding about other cultural backgrounds.
- Humility — being open to other cultures with awareness that our knowledge and understanding of different cultures will be limited.
These five aspects of multicultural competencies are embedded within the entire Allyship 101 experience.
What is social justice?
Social justice means fair access to resources, opportunities, and social institutions (e.g., healthcare and education) without limitations due to observed or interpreted differences, based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, gender/gender identity, language, national origin, worldview (religion, spirituality, and other values), physical or mental disability, or education.
When we are more multiculturally informed, we can help contribute to a more socially just world.
Through BAM! you can gain…
- Greater awareness of what your identities are and how these translate to privilege and oppression
- The ability to describe how allyship can benefit everyone, both the privileged and oppressed
- Skills in how to act as an ally to a member of a commonly oppressed community (e.g., People from underrepresented ethnic/racial groups, LGBT people, women, people with disabilities, etc.)
- Greater awareness of how social justice informs and impacts our mental, emotional, and social well-being
Making a gain in one area of multicultural competencies will create growth in each of the other areas. Strengthening one’s multicultural competencies is an exciting life-long process. There is always something new to learn about ourselves and others by practicing skilled culturally-attuned communication.
The topics we have for you to explore can sometimes be very hard to understand. That’s okay. When we are confronted with topics we are unfamiliar with, like multiculturalism, social justice, or oppression; it is very normal to have emotions come up. These are natural reactions in the multicultural identity development process, as well as in the process of becoming a social justice advocate. Our hope is that you notice your reactions, and stick with this journey because the results you get could be pretty cool.
There are no absolutes to doing social justice work. We can never be certain of the emotions it can bring up in ourselves, or be certain how other people will respond. That said, while investing in social justice work, it is essential to invest in your own self-care.
Want to learn more about allyship and implicit bias? Try Project Implicit, a project from Harvard University.