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Multicultural: Workshop

I just finished an all day workshop titled

"Understanding Culture, Understanding People"

at the Best Western-Prairie Inn, Morris-Minnesota. I took a ton of notes, which I wanted to just collect all my thoughts and write about it. I'm learning to not just go with the motion and not forget about it because it would be a waste of my time. I thought this workshop today (Thursday, April 28th 2005) was very informational and now I need to apply this in my "everyday" life.

I can to this workshop expecting to learn about batting racism, which we learn more than just battling it. The workshop was facilitated by Juan Moreno, who is in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Minnesota Extension Service. All the 30-40 participants received a folder that contained a lot of material, which some of it wasn't covered (for your own reading):

"Random (#44) Thoughts on the Nature of Culture"
-#27: Egyptian-"human"; China-"Middle Kingdom" (1) (2); Cuzco (Incas)-"bellybutton"
"When Butterflies Flap Their Wings: Community & Contradiction" (#80 reflections, insights, and observations into the nature of human communities")
"Entering into the Realm of "the Other": A Few Suggestions for Crossing Boundaries of Human Difference" (20 ways to prepare oneself when encountering cultures of "the other")

*for documents online, check out Mind Set: how we think about diversity, from National Extension Diversity Center

Juan Moreno
Diversity and Inclusion Specialist
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
University of Minnesota Extension Service
260 Coffey Hall, 1420 Eckles Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108-6070
(612) 625-5252, (612) 625-6227 fax
*from Conference Planning Committee

-from land of "guinea pig" eating in Ecuador


I. Communication

A. Ways to build a community: music, food, games, parade, storytelling, etc...

B. Education
postemology (sp?)-the study of knowledge
1. Quadrant of Certainty
A-Know Know: C-Don't Know-Know
B-Know-Don't Know D-Don't Know-Don't Know

a. breaking Tower of Babel (quadrant B); see Omniglot's guide to written languages
(1)35% literate, 65% illiterate (see see Human Development Report or Interactive Table of World Nations)
b. 2500 Common Words Around the World
(1) examples: Coca Cola, Michael Jackson, computer/pc

c. Missi (sp?) tribe of Kenya don't shake hands when greeting, but jump up and down (quadrant C)
d. Not Based (quadrant D)
(1) humility
(2) trust

Cultural Information [Iceberg Diagram]

10% (tip above water)
90% (under water)
"Journey to cultural competency begins with the inner journey for deep understanding that makes your own culture-unique peeping hole of reality"


Q: What happens life after death?
Q: What is your creation story?
Q: How do you know what is right or wrong?
-moral compass


EXERCISE:-Sinking Ship
Q: Who would you rescue if you could save only one of the following?
1-significant other (spouse)
3-mother (70% of world would do this)

Chaos/Conflict in Human Groups
Struggle between (different scenarios)... ....King
....Law ("We the People")

People: Elements of Privilege & Prejudice
a. # Privileges in Social Context
(1) male
(2) marital status
(3)lutheran scandinavian trad (1st in Ecuador)
(4) latino male (1st in Minnesota)
(5) skin color (light ->dark)
(6) education
(7) white collar profession
(8) hair in head
(9) right handed
(10) heterosexual

Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

EXERCISE: Sender <-> Receiver (joe&ben)

(what's up)->(where are you?)->(where thou art)
respect-deeply understanding
conflict-a failure of communication

EXERCISE-Repeat 3x & Answer Question

1-"shop" (3x)
Q: What do you do when you get to a green light?
A: "stop" (lol)-> "go"

2-"white" (3x)
Q: What do cows drink?
A: "milk" (lol)-> hay

3-"roast" (3x)
Q: What do you put in a toaster?
A: "toast" (lol)->bread

4-"ten" (3x)
Q: What are alumninum cans made of?
A: tin (lol)->"alumninum"

Conclusion of exercise: experiences shape our perception, we get trained repeatedly to do one thing and it's hard to counteract to do another thing (e.g. television/media's-subliminal messages of "materialism", "sex", "violence")

EXERCISE: Word Association of Colors

1. Red (Green word)
2. blue
3. red
4. purple/blue



Auscwitz (Jewish Holocaust during WWII) began w/words (repeatedly)..

(1) Q: Which line is standing by itself...
-> (western)
<- (middle east)
Tofig (Iranian) picked the "farthest" line to the left
*me (personal experience)-Japanese too read right to left (look at their magazines, books, or reading material)

(2) Q: Read as many "F's" you'll like...
Direction: Please read this sheet for understanding


56 (Tofig's answer)

Conclusions: Some people would give certain answers to "fit in",

Worksheet: The Central Polarity of the Human Condition
EXERCISE: Table-Apart vs. A Part
U.S.A.-Japan (examples)
"I am looking out for number one"-U.S. Saying
"The nail that sticks out gets pounded in"-typical Japanese saying

*tipping to one side, but never both/neutral

Extreme "A Part" (cults) group examples: Waco-David Koresh, Jones-Guinea, South America; Al Queda

150+->3000->6.5bil->+172K people added

cultural shock-unexpected encounter w/the unfamiliar


Sacajawea Dollar Coin used in Ecuador
Canada's population is 27mil compared to Mexico City's 23mil
"people with short memories forget about where they came from"-paraphrase?


Worksheet-Mapping the Continuum
Context: Morris (Sal)
ID Item <-Disadvantage Advantage->
*we had to put an X according to our personal background in the context where we live from Disadvantage to Advantage
Other ID Items: height, weight, physical features/looks, etc...

People with Higher Formal Education:
-Aldof Hitler
-Saddam Hussein
-Ho Chi Minh

Ethnic Jokes
-"cotton picking" (African American)
-dumb polish jokes (European American)

EXERCISE: Telephone (Receiver <-> Sender)
Sender to talk for 15 seconds about anything
Receiver is to just ignore and not listen
Conclusion: Receiver has 70% of power; paying attention; dialogue is healing

Q: Where is Timbuktu?
A: Along Niger (black in German) River in Mali

What do people from all over the world do to cure the "common cold"?
Ecuadoran uses combination of rum, milk, etc..
Filipinos sometimes uses pineapple juice
Mongolians/Southeast Asians uses horse feremented milk
Americans use chicken noodle soup, oranges, cold medicines, etc...

EXERCISE: What is the origin of your first, middle, and last name?

"Stories of conquerer (colonizer, oppressor) are different from those that were conqured (colonized, oppressed)"-Kenyan Proverb


"we need to understand our past in order to know where we are going to go in the future" (personal interpretation)
"We are wired to long for spirit" "good planets are hard to find"-a quote that Mr. Moreno repeated at times after sharing after his recent visit to the Kennedy Space Center
*see Goodnews UMM Science: Astronomy Homepage

Participants Represented

Some of the participants represented various local area organizations:


Counseling Associates


Bird island Olivia L D SCHOOLS


Lutheran Social Services


Melrose Area Hospital


Morris Area Schools
Morris Community Ed
Prairie Community Services
Regional Fitness Center
Stevens County Human Services
Stevens County Medical Center



Ridgewater College
West Central Integration Collaborative (listed non-profit in Chicano Studies resource; contact Idalia; see news article)
Western Plain Act
Wilmar Regional Treatment Center

West Wind Village This workshop was sponsored by the Continuing Education, Regional Programs and Summer Session

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