To complete your project, follow the instructions below.
1. Attend one to two cultural events or activities in which you’ll be able to experience “otherness” with respect to a diversity topic. Several examples include
Attending a Latino event if you’re not Latino
Attending a Native American ceremony if you’re not a Native American
Participating in an activity with African Americans if you’re not African American
Observing a religious ceremony other than one that you would typically attend
Spending time somewhere where you feel you’re different from the group around you
The list of possibilities with respect to what you choose to attend can be defined very broadly. Your geographical location will in some ways determine what’s available to you. This in and of itself can be noted as a diversity issue. Be creative and challenge yourself as you choose what you’ll attend. Your purpose in attending the event is to learn about the culture that you’re witnessing and to learn about your feelings and reactions to this experience and the event itself. It would be best to attend or experience the event yourself, but if this isn’t possible or practical, it’s strongly advised that you attend with only one other person and that the other person isn’t someone who routinely participates in the event. In other words, it should be an “otherness” experience for him or her as well. If there’s a program brochure, advertisement, or bulletin that outlines the event, scan it into your computer and include it in the submission of your paper as an appendix after the reference page.
2. Include outside material to support your writing. After you attend the event, find two readings or articles that give some meaning to what you experienced. This material must be referenced in your paper where applicable and should also be included on the reference page of your project submission.
3. After you’ve participated in the experience and have found supporting written material, write the details of your experience.
Consider and address the following questions and points as you write about and reflect on your experience.
A. What was your rationale for attending this particular event or activity?
B. What was the experience like? Did you feel a sense of “otherness”? As you reflect on your experience, consider such matters as
Did I feel welcomed?
Did I feel comfortable?
Did I feel conspicuous?
Did I feel included?
C. What cultural dynamics did you observe?
D. What did you learn about yourself and/or your culture as a whole?
E. Did you gain any insights that will help you provide culturally responsive services to others in your current or anticipated employment?
F. How did your experience relate to what you’ve learned by completing the lessons in this course?
If you attended this event with someone else, comparing your experiences with regard to the above questions may be helpful. Also, talking with someone who was in attendance at the event and who routinely attends such events may also facilitate your learning. If you do question an attendee, include specific discussion points in an appendix after the reference page. This appendix should be titled “Otherness Experience Discussion Points.”
Write an integrated response that indicates reflection on the experience and the integration of material from the text, study guide, and readings done specifically for this section; it should not be merely short answers to the questions provided. Your project will be about four pages in length.