by Dr. MelindaJoy Mingo
As a volunteer with CASA, you will have children and teens who are culturally diverse coming from different racial, linguistic, and ethnic backgrounds. It is so important to have the heart of a learner as it pertains to continually learning about equity, inclusion, and diversity. Diversity is beautiful and nothing to be feared.
Being culturally aware means “recognizing and understanding that we all have different values shaped by our diverse cultural backgrounds. What we consider to be ‘normal’ behavior in one culture can be entirely different in another.
It is through educating ourselves and embracing the beauty of cultural awareness that our neighborhoods, communities, and children of the Pikes Peak Region feel welcome and valued.
This month in the GIST, I am providing a list of culturally relevant resources that will help you become a bit more enlightened in the areas of cultural diversity, equity and social justice, I invite you to check the resources below and connect with me to share any resources that you find useful in the area of diversity and inclusion. These are websites that provide a wide variety of resources to help you continually learn and lead in the area of cultural diversity.
This section in Common Sense Education features over 30 tools and websites that you can use with students in class to open their minds and “get them to reflect on their own privileges, and help them better understand other people, perspectives, and cultures. Some of these picks will also cultivate students’ perspective-taking and integrity, putting students on the path to social change and activism.”
Google Arts and Culture offers tons of helpful resources to introduce students to our world’s rich cultural heritage. Students can get access to knowledge and stories curated from over 2,000 cultural institutions from 80 countries. “From the suffragettes who fought for women’s rights, to performing arts at the Paris Opera, to NASA’s archive of stunning images, discover stories about our cultural heritage. It’s your doorway to explore the art, history, people and wonders of our world.”
Learning for Justice features curated resources to teach students about concepts related to social justice and equity. Resources offered touch on diverse topics including: race and ethnicity, religion, ability, rights and activism, bullying and bias, gender and sexual identity, immigration, and more.
The NMAAHC offers resources to help students learn about the African American culture through interactive exhibitions. The museum “was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members.”
Country Reports delivers content regarding culture, language, religion, history, geography, economy, food, and more on each country of the world. Simply select the country of your choice and click to access its information.
This resource from CIA provides “basic intelligence on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, environment, communications, transportation, military, terrorism, and transnational issues for 266 world entities.”
The World Digital Library offers a treasure trove of materials to teach students about the world’s diverse cultures. These include: “historical documents including books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, journals, prints and photographs, sound recordings, and films.”
The Equity Literacy Institute offers free and downloadable resources designed by EdChange and the Equity Literacy Institute touching on topics related to multiculturalism, equity, and social justice.
So Just provides access to primary source documents on social justice. The site’s collection features “historic speeches, songs, poetry, and manifestos on human rights and social justice. So*Just is a free resources from EdChange and the Equity Literacy Institute.”
Macmillan Education offers this selection of courses to use in class to teach students about cultural awareness.