Exploring our differences creates community.
Rasheda and Monique were drawn to multicultural work for different reasons—but they share the joy of helping students see in new ways.
Diverse perspectives bring us closer together.
Affirmation is at the heart of our multicultural program, which, Rasheda notes, can be a balancing act. "A student who joined our community in high school really pushed us to practice inclusion. The curriculum around LGBT sexual orientation didn't align with his religious beliefs, and we had to shape an approach that honored his perspective and allowed students to voice their own beliefs around sexuality. We had some tense discussions, but the belief that everyone is entitled to his or her perspective kept the conversations productive."
Multiculturalism goes beyond race and ethnicity.
Monique helps elementary school students learn to look through the lenses of gender identity, sexual orientation, and socio-economic identity. "I think there is a misperception that our littlest learners are too young to talk about these topics, when actually they are the perfect age because they are completely open. We give them ways to think about culture, day-in and day-out, so it becomes a subject area as familiar as reading, writing, or math."