New address: 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409.
Rev. Peter Morales and Rev. Patricia Jimenez facilitated a
discussion and workshop on increasing our cultural awareness as part of
our Journey Toward Wholeness. The workshop was based on Milton
Bennett's article entitled "Towards Ethnorelativism: a Developmental
Model of Intercultural Sensitivity."
The author puts forth a continuum framework that describes the
level of maturity with regards to how one relates to cultural
difference. The presenters feel that it is important to look at
differences as "cultural differences" rather than "physical
differences" so that we can more easily break down barriers that divide
individuals and groups from deeper connection.
The attendees placed themselves in groups of three to discuss
the following questions: "What is a time when you have felt different?
And what did you learn from that experience?"
Rev. Morales then described the developmental model. The first
three stages are considered Ethnocentric: Denial, Defense, and
Minimization. The last three stages are considered Ethnorelative:
Acceptance, Adaptation, and Integration. Detailed descriptions of each
stage and the steps necessary to transfer to the next stage can be
With a new way to think about cultural awareness, the
participants returned to their groups to discuss the following
Rev. Jimenez helped put the workshop into perspective when she
asked the question: "Why do we do this work?" There were a variety of
Rev. Jiminez agreed with these responses from the participants and
reminded us that if we don't know people, we can not love them. Love
within interpersonal relationships is what makes us grow and is a
foundation for stable healthy communities.
Rev. Peter Morales is Senior Minister of the Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, CO, and a member of Latina/o Unitarian Universalist Networking Alliance (LUUNA). Rev. Patricia Jimenez is a hospital Chaplain in Lansing Michigan.
She is also co-chair of LUUNA.
Adapted from Education for the Intercultural Experience by Milton J. Bennett.
Reported by Jesse Washington.
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Tuesday, July 26, 2011.
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