Title

28 Reasons to Hug a Black Child

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

This presentation will focus on giving educators and students tools needed to create spaces that value cultural diversity; create a sense of community in classrooms & schools; encourage positive identity development through multicultural education; and enhance interpersonal life skills by modeling cultural competency.

Brief Program Description

How often do you want to hug a Black child? Your answer and rationale are influenced by your interactions, perceptions, and identity. By exploring the intersection of context, culture, and identity we can effectively discuss how individuals both shape and are shaped by their environments and the relationship between ourselves and “others.”

Summary

28 Reasons to Hug a Black Child is a conversation about the intersection of slavery, history, economics, society, and culture. First, the number “28” represents Black History Month and contributions from Black people which have systemically been underrepresented, misrepresented, or unrepresented in Western history. “Every story we hear comes from a certain point of view and we always need to remember who is speaking, why they are speaking, and especially which voices go unheard, and why (John Green).” It’s common for history to be taught exclusively from a White, male, heterosexual, Christian perspective. Black History Month is an attempt to weave equity and inclusion throughout mainstream historical accounts. The number “28” also represents the collective and individual identities of many Americans which tend to be expressed in relation to the Atlantic Slave Trade; identity is often formed in relation to one of two points: descendants of property or property owners. Both starting points usually involve shame. There are few institutions that have impacted humanity like slavery. At present, Black History is frequently narrated from a disempowering perspective themed with victimization. Contextualizing history, slavery, and their impacts will be the starting focus. Third, “Reasons” is a reference to the mechanisms that shape experience and culture like perception, relationships, and identity development. Fourth, the word “Hug” represents connection. How often do you want to hug a Black child? The answer hinges on your levels of safeness, amicability, and empathy towards people who are Black. We tend to feel higher levels of those things around people we see as the same. The word “Black” in the title represents both race and otherness which are typically used as tools for disconnection. Simply put, race is a social construct with real implications that often limit interpersonal connection. Lastly, exploring learning, development, and success theories will help us understand the impact of relationships between individuals and systems. These concepts will position educators and students to effectively navigate and challenge systems by teaching cultural competency, self-regulation, self-efficacy, and collective empowerment.

Evidence

To effectively discuss complex subjects like cultural competency, the goal must be to create and maintain an environment where people feel comfortable enough to be vulnerability and engage in the process. The session will be an interactive psycho-educational guidance lesson. The process will involve a student-centered teaching approach integrated with existential counseling therapy supported by narrative theory. Meaningful self-discovery is a the root of existential therapy. The counseling process is designed to increase awareness about perception, interpersonal relationships, identity, shame, and social justice by discussing the intersection of slavery, history, economics, society, and culture. Narrative theory has fiver areas of focus. 1. RELATIONSHIP - After rapport is built and people feel comfortable sharing their experiences the true learning begins. 2. STORY AND STRENGTHS - people tell their stories and the focus is shifted towards identifying strengths. 3. GOALS - increased self-awareness allows people better understand their own behavior, motivations, and what they ultimately want. 4. RESTORY - they’re then able to intentionally reframe their past experience and future expectations. 5. ACTION - equipped with a more helpful perspective, goals, and expectations they can create an effective plan and take action. This often leads to improvement in health and well-being which empowers individuals and increases their self-confidence, productivity, and inner-peace. Emotional intelligence, principle-centered leadership, and the Ladder of Inference are a few theories that will be used to help educators and students develop awareness, clarify objectives, and develop plans for action. These concepts will teach cultural competency, self-regulation, self-efficacy, and collective empowerment.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

John is originally from Austell, GA. He earned two degrees from Georgia Southern University. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with a minor in Africana Studies in 2012; he then obtained his Master of Education in School Counseling in 2014. Like many students pursuing higher education, he financed his education with ridiculous amounts of borrowed money! Now his primary goal is to create enough income to repay all outstanding debt through entrepreneurship. John's other goals include achieving financial freedom, building healthy relationships, finding creative ways to advance the field of social justice, and the active pursuit of constant and never ending improvement. He is the current president of the National Black Graduate Student Association (NBGSA) and a co-founder of Millionaire Mindset Club. He believes that the path to light leads through darkness.

Keyword Descriptors

Otherness, racism, biases, connection, systems, privilege, hugs, education, slavery, impact

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

28 Reasons to Hug a Black Child

Harborside Center East and West

How often do you want to hug a Black child? Your answer and rationale are influenced by your interactions, perceptions, and identity. By exploring the intersection of context, culture, and identity we can effectively discuss how individuals both shape and are shaped by their environments and the relationship between ourselves and “others.”