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Breaking barriers

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In this workshop, participants will explore the intersection between their personal identities and their work at their volunteer sites. Participants will consider how their personal characteristics and values may create challenges or sociocultural barriers for building trust and meaningful relationships with the populations they interact with in their Bonner work. This workshop will include both personal reflection and an opportunity to collaboratively propose solutions to the challenges identity may cause in volunteer work, in order to engage these differences for the mutual benefit of the community and individual growth.

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Breaking barriers

  1. 1. Breaking Barriers: Acknowledging Differences With Populations we serve KELSEY MAGLIO & AIYANNA MACIEL
  2. 2. Why are we here? Introductions Kelsey & Aiyanna’s experience Creating dialogue about differences we face
  3. 3. Revisiting Our Identities Who am I? If someone one asked who you were, how would you describe yourself in three sentences? Name several things that you most value. Describe several of your proudest moments or greatest achievements thus far. Describe the most challenging experience or time of your life. How would other people describe their perceptions of you? How does this compare to your perception of yourself? What are your strengths as a leader? As a Bonner? As a student, friend, family member? How did you find your service site? What drew you in to become a part of the work you’re doing? Does this topic still impact you?
  4. 4. Assessing Our Differences Next, take time to consider the populations you serve, the staff you work with, and other volunteers that make up the environment of your site.
  5. 5. Assessing Our Differences In pairs of two, we will give you one minute per question to talk about your experiences Again, be prepared to share out! Consider: Why is it important for us to have this dialogue among fellow Bonners?
  6. 6. Assessing our Differences What differences do you perceive between you and the populations you interact with at your site? Have you ever felt uncomfortable while volunteering because of your identity? Have you ever felt the need to conceal any aspect of your identity or life while volunteering? What is the biggest conflict you have experienced while volunteering? Have you ever felt that your identity would prevent you from making the most impact at your site? Have you ever felt disconnected from the people you work with at your site? Have you ever disagreed with something you overheard or witnessed at your site?
  7. 7. Reflection How can we overcome the differences we just talked about? What are some strategies to help us continue our work as Bonners without getting bogged down by these issues? Who else should we share this type of dialogue with? Have you discussed these barriers with your sites before? What can we do as Bonners to help others overcome differences such as these?

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