PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Reflection Activity: Identity


Identity can be defined as the “the collective aspect of the set of characteristics by which a thing or person is definitively recognized or known,” or as “the set of behavioral or personal characteristics by which an individual is recognizable as a member of a group.”

Reflect for a moment on the following:

  • Would you identify yourself as white or European American? Would others identify you as white or European American?
  • Would you identify yourself as black or African American? Would others identify you as black or African American?
  • Would you identify yourself as Native American? Would others identify you as Native American?
  • Would you identify yourself as Asian American? Would others identify you as Asian American?
  • Would you identify yourself as Hispanic or Latino/a? Would others identify you as Hispanic or Latino/a?
  • Would you identify yourself as Middle Eastern? Would others identify you as Middle Eastern?
  • Would you identify yourself as multiracial or multiethnic? Would others identify you as multiracial or multiethnic?
  • Would you identify yourself by national origin, i.e. Italian, Jamaican, Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Saudi Arabian? Would others identify you by national origin?
  • Would you identify yourself by tribal affiliation, i.e. Ute or Lakota? Would others identify you by tribal affiliation?
  • Would you identify yourself as “a person of color”? Would others identify you as “a person of color”?
  • Would you identify yourself solely as “American”? Would others identify you solely as “American”?
  • Would you identify your race or ethnicity some other way entirely? Would others see you that way, too?

Next, write a short biography about your racial identit(ies), answering the following questions:

  • When and how did you become aware of your racial identit(ies)?
  • Describe a moment when your racial identit(ies) were important to, or took on particular meaning for, you.
  • Describe a moment when your racial identit(ies) were important to, or took on particular meaning for, others.
  • How do you benefit from your racial identit(ies)?
  • How do you suffer or “miss out” because of your racial identit(ies)?
  • Are some of these questions easier or more difficult to answer than others? Why might this be?
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Welcome to Learning for Justice—Formerly Teaching Tolerance!

Our work has evolved in the last 30 years, from reducing prejudice to tackling systemic injustice. So we’ve chosen a new name that better reflects that evolution: Learning for Justice.

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