Category Archives: Cultural Competance Resources

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program

Just found this project called BookDragon from the Smithsonian Asian Pacific Program.  BookDragon is maintained by Terry Hong.  He writes:

“BookDragon is a book review blog produced by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program (APAP). BookDragon is an education, outreach, and research initiative that features literary works which highlight the contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to the American experience and world cultures, two of the grand challenges of the Smithsonian Institution’s Strategic Plan.”

I’ve already found five new titles to add to my “Will Read Someday” book list!



Happy Diwali!

Check out President Obama’s Happy Diwali video.  Don’t know what Diwali is? This video outlines some basic Diwali info. If you celebrate Diwali, what do you love about it?

Enjoy the Festival of Lights!

Students Stand Up For All of Us

Perhaps by now you have heard of the great impact a student group at Ohio University has had in sending a loud and clear message about insensitive and racist (not to mention sexist and classist) Halloween costumes.

Their series of PSA posters are moving and informative. Check them out here.

Earlier this week some of us in the Diversity and Equity Office shared our experiences with insensitive and racist Halloween costumes, including memories of flipping through a parents Saint Micheal’s College yearbook from 1975 and seeing students wearing white sheets dressed up as members of the KKK. This type of costume is still part of our lives, and as these Ohio University students suggest, should not be.

It feels good knowing that perhaps there will be more of an absence of costumes that are hurtful.  This leads to more people feeling safe and able to enjoy their surroundings, and this we all deserve!

“The Freedom to Choose Your Pronoun”

“What are your preferred gender pronouns (p.g.p)?” This question is beginning to pop up in meetings across the country. What is a P.G.P? The pronouns that a person chooses, for example: she and her.

““More students today than ever are thinking about what gender means and are using this language to get away from masculine and feminine gender assumptions,” said Eliza Byard,  executive director of Gay, Lesbian Straight Network.

For more information:

Read the full article, Freedom to Choose Your Pronoun.

Read Princess Boy: a mom’s story about a young boy who love to dress up,  for an exploration of gender in a beautiful picture book.

Attend the Translating Identity Conference at UVM this week, October 22nd beginning at 9am!  “Opening its doors to the public for the tenth time in nine years for the 2011 conference, the Translating Identity Conference (TIC) explores a wide array of topics in discourses regarding gender and transgender identities, expressions, communities, and intersections. TIC is a free, student organized, non-profit conference that seeks to reach not only the University of Vermont & the Burlington community, but the nation as a whole. A one-day event, TIC has numerous sessions to choose from at any time that are directed towards people at all levels of inclusion in the trans and allied communities. This conference is a safe space for everyone to come, learn, and enjoy themselves!”

Sticks and Stones | Seven Days

Sticks and Stones | Seven Days.

Seven Days article explores how “Outright Vermont teaches kids that words do hurt.”

“89% of LGBT students heard the word “gay” (e.g., “that’s so gay”) used in a negative way frequently or often at school.

85% were verbally harassed at school because of their sexual orientation.

53% were harassed or threatened by peers via electronic media such as text messages, e-mails and Facebook.

From the 2009 National School Climate Survey of LGBT youth conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.”

Reading Selections and Booklists

Yesterday, Rebecca and Megan at the Fletcher Free Library introduced me to two great new books: Reid’s Read-Alouds and Readers Advisory for Children and Tweens by Penny Peck.

Here is Reid’s book list titled “People with Disabilities”:

  • Look, Lenore.  Ruby Lu
  • Lord, Cynthia.  Rules
  • Lowny, Lois.  Gathering Blues
  • Mackei, Kathy.  Mad Cat
  • Miller, Sarah.  Miss Spitfire
  • Morpurgo, Michael.  Private Peaceful
  • Sachar, Louis.  Small Steps
  • Smith, D. James.  The Boys of San Joaquin
  • Woodson, Jacqueline.  Feathers

There are many many other great lists in Reid’s book with great book descriptions as well.  Enjoy checking them out!

Engaging with Ruby Payne’s Work

A number of resources that begin to explore responses to Ruby Payne’s work.  Thank you to Marianne McCoy- Curriculum Specialist for sending this along!

Marianne writes: “Her work has generated much response based on her research, sampling, patterning, and the danger of misinterpretation by teachers”

Peddling Poverty for Profit: Elements of Oppression in Ruby Payne’s Framework
EQUITY & EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION, 41(1), 130–148, 2008

A Framework for Understanding Ruby Payne
by Anita Perna Bohn ( assistant professor at Illinois State University

Savage Unrealities: Racism and Classism Abound in Ruby Payne’s Framework (2008)
Paul C. Gorski’s essay published in Rethinking Schools.

Miseducating Teachers about the Poor: A Critical Analysis of Ruby Payne’s Claims about Poverty
by Randy Bomer, Joel E. Dworin, Laura May & Peggy Semingson