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Cultural Competency: Understanding Context in Communications


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All of our voices play a collective role in building a diverse and inclusive community. What is your organization saying, and how can you improve the way it represents our changing population?

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Cultural Competency: Understanding Context in Communications

  1. 1. Understanding Context in Communications Anthony Flowe @anthony_flowe Charrosé King @charroseck KC Ellis Sledd @kcesledd March 24, 2017 #17NTCwoke CULTURAL COMPETENCY
  2. 2. #17NTCwoke Session Links • Hashtag: #17NTCwoke • Collaborative Notes: • Keynote Live: (Case Sensitive)
  3. 3. #17NTCwoke Your presenters KC Ellis SleddCharrosé KingAnthony Flowe @charroseck@anthony_flowe @kcesledd
  4. 4. #17NTCwoke Beyhive
  5. 5. #17NTCwoke Objective Equip attendees with the knowledge and skills to make informed and inclusive decisions.
  6. 6. #17NTCwoke Session Norms • Assume good will • Allow others to speak if you’ve already spoken • Submit questions on collaborative notes if you’re uncomfortable asking in person
  7. 7. #17NTCwoke Terms We’ll Use A special advantage granted only to a particular group of people. System of socioeconomic oppression and discrimination based on race. Action taken based on prejudice. A preconceived opinion, typically negative, that is not based on actual experience or reason. An inclination for or against a person, idea or thing, especially in a way considered to be unfair. An exaggerated generalization or belief about a group of people's traits or behaviors without acknowledging individual variation. Ideas or attitudes to maintain male superiority through practices that oppress women and girls on the basis of sex or gender.
  8. 8. #17NTCwoke Agenda Our Power as Communicators What to Do / It Gets Better Putting It into Practice Fixing Mistakes Scenario Activity 1 2 4 3 5
  9. 9. #17NTCwoke Our Power as Communicators
  10. 10. #17NTCwoke As communicators, we have a special power to help others.
  11. 11. #17NTCwoke As communicators, we have a special power to help others. We live out our power through many different ways.
  12. 12. #17NTCwoke We raise money for the causes that matter.
  13. 13. #17NTCwoke We educate our audiences on the work we do.
  14. 14. #17NTCwoke We launch movements that change the world.
  15. 15. #17NTCwoke For-profit communicators do their part, too.
  16. 16. #17NTCwoke Unfortunately, communicators don't always get it right.
  17. 17. #17NTCwoke
  18. 18. #17NTCwoke What’s the problem?
  19. 19. #17NTCwoke
  20. 20. #17NTCwoke
  21. 21. #17NTCwoke National Museum of African American History and Culture Stereotypes are used to justify mistreatment [of oppressed people].
  22. 22. #17NTCwoke STEREOTYPE Women’s most important concerns are housekeeping and fitting standards of beauty. MISTREATMENTS Career limitations Lack of intellectual respect Lack of physical respect
  23. 23. #17NTCwoke STEREOTYPE All people of a certain group are a threat. MISTREATMENTS Internment camps Muslim bans Criminalization
  25. 25. #17NTCwoke
  26. 26. #17NTCwoke Do stereotypes affect everyone the same way?
  27. 27. #17NTCwoke Offensive
  28. 28. #17NTCwoke Harmful
  29. 29. #17NTCwoke What to Do/It Gets Better
  30. 30. #17NTCwoke What can I do to help?
  31. 31. #17NTCwoke How to help: Swim upstream Identify biases Challenge norms Acknowledge your privilege use it for others Always Be Curious (ABC) 1 2 4 3 5
  34. 34. #17NTCwoke Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
  35. 35. #17NTCwoke Be curious about prejudices and biases. And challenge them.
  36. 36. #17NTCwoke Black American boys are over- diagnosed with ADHD: • medicalizing normal childhood behavior • misinterpreting cultural differences Black American boys are under- diagnosed with ADHD: • written off as rowdy and disruptive • overlook underlying condition Knowing this, should I use this image for a blog post about children with ADHD? What will be my response if members of our audience take issue?
  37. 37. #17NTCwoke
  38. 38. #17NTCwoke Most violence is committed by people without mental illness. People with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence.
  39. 39. #17NTCwoke
  40. 40. #17NTCwoke Men commit 99% of sex crimes. Three out of four rapes are committed by someone the survivor knows.
  41. 41. #17NTCwoke
  42. 42. #17NTCwoke Non-Muslims committed 94% of terrorist attacks between 1980 and 2005. Americans are more likely to be crushed to death by their couches or televisions, or shot by a toddler, than killed by a “Muslim terrorist.”
  43. 43. #17NTCwoke Gloria Steinem As has been true forever, the person with the power takes the noun—and the norm—while the less powerful requires an adjective.
  44. 44. #17NTCwoke That adjective becomes the master status. Everett Hughes: “the tendency of observers to believe that one label or demographic category is more significant than any other aspect of the observed person's background, behavior or performance.”
  45. 45. #17NTCwoke Be curious about norms and assumptions. And challenge them.
  46. 46. #17NTCwoke The “normal” _____________ is assumed to be _____________. We specify _____________, but not _____________.
  47. 47. #17NTCwoke The “normal” _____________ is assumed to be _____________. We specify _____________, but not _____________.
  48. 48. #17NTCwoke The “normal” _____________ is assumed to be _____________. We specify _____________, but not _____________.
  49. 49. #17NTCwoke The “normal” _____________ is assumed to be _____________. We specify _____________, but not _____________.
  50. 50. #17NTCwoke The “normal” _____________ is assumed to be _____________. We specify _____________, but not _____________.
  51. 51. #17NTCwoke The “normal” _____________ is assumed to be _____________. We specify _____________, but not _____________.
  52. 52. #17NTCwoke Do I have societal privileges?
  53. 53. #17NTCwoke Be curious about privilege. And challenge it.
  54. 54. #17NTCwoke Identify your privilege so you can use it to advocate for other people. Although society shows preferential treatment, there is no right or wrong way of being.
  55. 55. #17NTCwoke Malala Yousafzai I speak not for myself but for those without voice...
  56. 56. #17NTCwoke Because I am a _____________ person in this society, I worry less or don’t worry about _____________. I can help _____________ people by using my privilege to _______________________.
  57. 57. #17NTCwoke Because I am a _____________ person in this society, I worry less or don’t worry about _____________. I can help _____________ people by using my privilege to _______________________.
  58. 58. #17NTCwoke Always Be Curious
  59. 59. #17NTCwoke Always Be Curious Who is represented? Who is not represented? Why or why not? What is the background/history behind the relationships I’m showing? Where did I learn the assumptions I’m making? When have these images been used before? Do they represent any stereotypes?
  60. 60. #17NTCwoke Always Be Curious Stay Woke
  61. 61. #17NTCwoke Putting It into Practice
  62. 62. #17NTCwoke So, where do we go from here?
  63. 63. #17NTCwoke Choosing Images
  64. 64. #17NTCwoke Choosing Images Telling Stories
  65. 65. #17NTCwoke Choosing Images Telling Stories Becoming Inclusive
  66. 66. #17NTCwoke Choosing Images • Avoid the vision of the "savior." • Think about how you're depicting your constituents. Do they have agency, or are they at the mercy of others? • You don't need a perfect rainbow every time, but try to avoid "tokens." • Consider historical context. • If you don't know, ask.
  67. 67. #17NTCwoke Avoid the "savior" complex.
  68. 68. #17NTCwoke Consider how you're depicting your constituents.
  69. 69. #17NTCwoke You don't need a perfect rainbow every time. What about this one? 
 Is it honest, or is it aspirational? Would you use this picture? 
 Why or why not?
  70. 70. #17NTCwoke Consider historical context.
  71. 71. #17NTCwoke If you don't know, ask.
  72. 72. #17NTCwoke Healthy Images: In Practice
  73. 73. #17NTCwoke Telling Stories • Find out how your audiences describe themselves. • Make sure your constituents are the stars of their own stories. • Use the right pronouns. • Are you an insider or an outsider to the community you serve? • Consider your point of view and how it might affect the story you tell.
  74. 74. #17NTCwoke Find out how your audiences describe themselves.
  75. 75. #17NTCwoke Make sure your constituents are the stars of their own stories.
  76. 76. #17NTCwoke Use the right pronouns.
  77. 77. #17NTCwoke Are you an insider or an outsider to the community you serve?
  78. 78. #17NTCwoke How are you a part of the story you're telling?
  79. 79. #17NTCwoke Positive Stories: In Practice
  80. 80. #17NTCwoke Building a More Diverse Organization Talk to your executive director and start building a case for diversity. Gather information. Create a baseline. Find out what works and what doesn't. Start a committee. Make a plan. Use free tools and resources wherever available. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
  81. 81. #17NTCwoke Case Study
  82. 82. #17NTCwoke Remember... • Consider your point of view and how it might filter through to how you describe your constituents. • Organizations don't get diverse and inclusive overnight. Understand your baseline, build a case, and make a plan. • If you don't know if something is right, ask. Ask your audience, ask your executive director, ask a board member.
  83. 83. #17NTCwoke Fixing Mistakes
  84. 84. #17NTCwoke We offended someone… now what? What do we do? How do we come back from this? Are we doomed?
  85. 85. #17NTCwoke Choose to Listen Apologize Practice
  86. 86. #17NTCwoke Listen more than you speak Don’t police others’ tones Be aware of your fragility Focus on effect, not intent Listen
  87. 87. #17NTCwoke Apologize Fact check Choose the appropriate channel Brief your key stakeholders Be timely Be clear and avoid jargon Share results with staff Keep your promises Analyze for the future 1 2 4 3 6 5 8 7 9 10 Have a plan and a trained team Draft and approve messages Planning Action Follow-up Keep staff informed 11
  88. 88. #17NTCwoke Practice Reflect on your privileges Ask questions if you do not know Research your audience Consider the historical context Be open to feedback Advocate for diversity Have a plan Remember change is an ongoing process = = =
  89. 89. #17NTCwoke Practice Show diversity Avoid reinforcing harmful messages Share narratives and images that challenge systems of oppression 1 2 3
  90. 90. #17NTCwoke Scenarios
  91. 91. #17NTCwoke Scenario 1 You are selected to join a task force to integrate more socially inclusive work in your organization's programs. As a member of the communications team, you hope to develop products for social media, web, and publications. During this meeting, you notice that everyone attending is an upper level, white man. As the meeting progresses, you hear that the leaders are making racist, sexist, and xenophobic comments. What do you do?
  92. 92. #17NTCwoke Scenario 2 You and a team of communicators create an infographic to share through your organization’s social media platforms. While the post has received many likes (more than your usual), there are several comments stating that the infographic is racist because the image lacks diversity. What are your next steps?
  93. 93. #17NTCwoke Scenario 3 During a highly funded campaign for your organization, a video surfaces of current colleagues making sexist remarks. The video soon goes viral and media outlets begin to cover the story overshadowing the campaign. As communicators, what actions do you take to fix the reputation of your organization?
  94. 94. #17NTCwoke Thank You
  95. 95. #17NTCwoke Please remember to rate our session: See collaborative notes and other resources: