Yoga, Connection, at I Grow Chicago Peace House

Whenever I teach yoga I always leave feeling taller and calmer, standing proud with beautiful posture, thinking only positive thoughts about the world and all of its people. “You must be in a hurry,” I smile at the person cutting me off on my drive home. “Go ahead.” Have you ever wondered, “Hmmm…what if everyone…

Beyond Liking on Facebook: Taking Action for Social Change and The Montessori School of Englewood

Below are two stories, one about taking action for social change (like really taking action—not just liking something on Facebook) and the other story is about how media can perpetuate negative stereotypes (and how important it is to see something firsthand before passing judgment.)  Both stories are interwoven here because 1.) The stories converge, albeit…

The Race Test: I am White

White Tim White talks a lot about White Privilege, White Peggy McIntosh is well-known for “Unpacking the White Knapsack” about what it means to be white, and most recently, White Mikhail Lyubansky, professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, takes a stab at the notion in his article on psychologytoday.com, “Going Where Glenn Beck…

Bat Mitzvah’s and Adopted Babies from Korea: How We Learn and Pass-on Culture

Between a Bat Mitzvah (Jewish coming of age ceremony, Bat for girl, Bar for boy) on Saturday and a conversation at lunch yesterday that exposed multiple unconsicous assumptions of mine, I seem to have race, bias, and interculturalism on the brain, and in particular the idea of how culture is passed-on from one generation to the…

Swapping Races to Reveal Unconscious Bias and Privilege

 I need to go take a shower. I just caught myself talking to my husband’s kindly Indian colleague over the phone like he was an idiot, plus I read this article by Tim Wise “Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black,” and realized I am guilty. (This is a must read!) One, because looking…

Why Anthropology?

The “olden days” of diversity training started with “the other.” It assumed a majority culture norm, and defined everyone else in contrast to the norm. “This group behaves this way. This group behaves that way.”  The anthropological approach gives each group ‘hegemony,’ the power to exist in its own right. It recognizes the inherent value…

How Action (and mistakes) can Positively Move Discussion on White Privilege Forward

 Have you ever been in a position at work where you are working your tail off and all you hear is criticism from those around you?  As explained by a sympathetic friend to me once, “it’s like the idea of a moving target.  If everyone else is sitting around doing nothing, you running by…

Happy Halloween. I’m Going as a Brazilian. Or a Jew. Or a Brazilian Jew.

Doesn’t everyone have that one friend who doesn’t dress up for Halloween, but likes to come up with ways to describe his/her costume anyway, as in “I’m dressed as a pedestrian.” At first I declared I was dressed Brazilian, after deciding not to change my shirt in response to my 8 year old’s announcement that “I…