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Being Color Brave and Culturally Humble, Parts I, II and III

What does it mean to be “color brave”? In her TED talk “Color blind or color brave?” accomplished businesswoman Mellody Hobson explores having candid conversations about race that can help us better understand each other’s perspectives and experiences. Gaining this information is at the heart of our ability to build authentic relationships and to attain cultural dexterity. One strategy for achieving this bravery is through cultural humility, which has been defined as the ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented in relation to aspects of cultural identity as defined by that person. Cultural humility challenges us to suspend what we know, or think we know, about a person based on generalizations about their culture. Cultural humility also helps us to know ourselves and how we are shaped by our culture and experiences. Many of us have thought patterns and actions that are based in privilege and implicit bias. It is important to explore our belief systems to uncover individual biases and misconceptions attached to our life experiences. This helps us to give grace and offer empathy to ourselves and others as we examine bias from the perspective of microaggressions. This three-part series will engage the audience in these ways during each stand-alone session: • Part I: Being Color Brave focuses on the need for society to talk about race. Ms. Hobson explains how acknowledging and discussing race is a first step to developing and sustaining an inclusive culture. This segment helps us learn how to generate dialogue and self-awareness to become more color brave. • Part II: Cultural humility is introduced as an alternative to cultural competence. This session introduces the concept of allowing others to provide information regarding their culture. It outlines an ongoing journey of self-reflection and humility in learning how a person’s culture is expressed. • Part III: Examining implicit bias and microaggressions offers participants an opportunity to be reflective and introspective about how they manage race relations in their professional and personal lives in hopes of equipping them with tools they can use to better understand and serve the families that they encounter. Learning Objectives: At the end of this presentation, the audience will be able to: • Describe being “color brave,” and how it can be used in the field of child welfare; • Explore, examine and reflect on how color bravery can impact their interactions with families; • Articulate the dimensions of cultural humility; • Identify ways that cultural humility can be used in their practice; • Explore implicit bias and how it may impact or interfere with making sound decisions for children and families of color; and • Identify and address microaggressions from the perspective of a witness, target or perpetrator.