The Cultural Diversity in Education Program is a cognitive-affective developmental model for educating educators for long-term comprehensive cultural transformation of the classroom, the school, the college, and the university. It is a particularly useful model for predominantly-white or monocultural institutions that are experiencing changing student and community demographics and are also concerned about gaps in achievement, retention, and graduation for culturally diverse and minority students. There are two versions—one designed for higher education institutions and one designed for K-12 schools—each with resources and strategies appropriate to that educational context.
In the last fifteen years, K-12 student populations have been diversifying rapidly across the country, and not just in urban population areas but also in suburban and even rural areas. In many communities, the percentage of minority students (African American and Latino particularly) has doubled with continuing increases projected in the next twenty years. The teaching and administrative staff, however, of most K-12 schools have remained predominantly white. In fact, according to the National Collaborative on Diversity in the Teaching Force in 2005: “Nine out of 10 U.S. teachers are white. Only 6% of instructors are black while the remaining 4% are from other minority groups. In a nation where 17% of students are black and 17% Hispanic, those statistics add up to a troubling lack of diversity at the head of the classroom.” (“What the Numbers Say,” Curriculum Review, Feb. 2005).
Many Hispanic/Latino students struggle with pressures to reclaim and to reaffirm their cultural heritage at the same time that they are being required to assimilate into the dominant educational culture in U.S. schools and colleges. To assist teachers and staff who are working with Hispanic/Latino students and their families, this workshop will examine misperceptions about Hispanic cultures and demographics, analyze the relationship between Hispanic/Latino cultural identity and educational achievement and success, and generate new paradigms, strategies, and practices to implement in your classrooms, your school, and your college.
The Cultural Diversity at Work Program consists of five interactive workshops created to address cultural differences in the workplace and in the community, to reduce intercultural conflict and harassment, to support more inclusive work and community environments, and to utilize the synergistic energy of diversity. Usually a group of 40-50 individuals (employees/supervisors or citizens/volunteers, etc.). participate in all five workshops together over a period of six months to a year. In addition, DiversityWorks, Inc. designs site and situation-specific workshops, retreats, and consulting services to meet the particular diversity education needs of business, industry, and community organizations/agencies.
Culture impacts how we think and communicate. Cultural differences in cognitive and communication styles can lead to misunderstanding, conflict, litigation, even violence. Recognizing and understanding cultural differences can improve relationships and interactions, enhance service and productivity, reduce conflict and litigation, and create a welcoming, inclusive culture for diverse patients and employees.
Using role plays and small group discussion, this highly interactive workshop examines common conflicts in verbal/non-verbal communication styles, cognitive styles, problem-solving/decision-making styles, and work styles among African American women, white women, and Latino women. Participants analyze how such intercultural conflicts can not only contribute to a hostile workplace for women of color but also undermine diverse hiring goals. In addition, the workshop emphasizes how the dynamics of gender/cultural identity, power, and authority can result in misperception, misunderstanding, and broken work relationships.