The Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning (CTTL) recently hosted the return of cross-cultural facilitator, Lee Mun Wah, on Flex Day, November 25, for “What We Do Not See: Exploring What We Leave at the Door.” This year’s Lee Mun Wah employee special event was very engaging, and drew well over 100 participants.
Lee Mun Wah led a half-day seminar with Skyline College employees, introducing ways to become culturally competent and exploring racial identity and bias. This includes learning the importance of mindful listening and culturally responding, learning how to be curious, and taking responsibility towards creating an environment that is more culturally aware. Becoming culturally competent explores becoming more aware of the social issues and contexts surrounding another’s cultural history and upbringing.
Participants were partnered up to learn more about racial identity through asking one another mindful questions such as: When did you first learn you were different? How did it affect you? How does it affect you today? Despite varied responses in the room, everyone shared one commonality: each of us has either experienced racism or has known someone who has faced racial discrimination. We take for granted that we know our coworkers because we see them every day and talk to them once in a while in passing, but do we really know them?
Lee Mun Wah taught a very basic lesson in that the questions asked above may seem like very simple questions, but they are difficult and essential questions that will build a bridge of understanding between races and cultures. Thank you to all who participated in this enlightening event! The CTTL hopes that all of the participants can take their newfound knowledge, and take a step towards creating a more culturally aware environment.
Those interested in viewing Lee Mun Wah’s films can borrow them from the Skyline College Library. Additionally, copies of his latest book Let’s Get Real: What People of Color Can’t Say & Whites Won’t Ask about Racism” are available for loan at the Library and the CTTL.
For more professional development workshops and seminar, please visit us at The Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning Website.
Article by Liezl Madrona