Do we need to be courageous when engaging in conversations about Race?

Group photoLiving in such a multicultural country, when it comes to conversations about one’s Race, Religion and Culture, it seems one is walking on egg shells. Most of the time we may not know how to initiate conversation around someone’s Race. This is usually not easy, but if it is done well, it can really help. We all have memories of difficult conversations which turned out to have a very positive impact.

Working with staff and clients from different cultures is both rewarding and challenging. To be able to better support and engage with people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds it is vital that people actively build on their self awareness to be culturally aware and competent.

To assist people to ease into the conversations around race, ILC Multicultural Aged Care Service partnered with ACSWA to deliver the Courageous Conversations about Race workshop in May. This workshop was facilitated by Malcolm Fialho, the Senior Diversity Officer at the University of Western Australia. Due to the positive feedback  an opportunity arose for another workshop to be delivered by the author and esteemed presenter Glen Singleton from the USA. ILC MACS partnered with Community West and ACSWA to deliver this workshop to CEO’s and staff development decision makers.

The session provided an opportunity for participants to explore race from multiple perspectives and develop language and confidence to engage in complex, challenging and meaningful conversations about race.

Stereotyping and prejudice were explored through comparing personal, national and international narratives about racial identity, power and privilege and their impacts on lived experience.

This workshop challenged people to think through the various ways race and culture impacts on their life and professional practices. It then provided an opportunity to increase participants’ comfort, share their experiences and build confidence to work effectively with people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

To answer the question, in my opinion, it does require a little courage to initiate the conversations on Race, Religion and Culture. However my courage rewarded me with  life long friends in a country which was once alien to me.

Do express  your thoughts and opinions in the comment box.

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