Welcome back to the Train Station - this month we look at a number of active fronts in creating equitable community: an exploration of what creates gender, a look at whiteness, a beautifully written book about America's great migration and a celebration of unity of common experience across difference.
Coming soon we'll look more at the stirring around MKP rituals and cultural appropriation. What do you want to see? Let us know!
For many of us, the idea of gender has shifted from binary (male - female) thinking to a less-rigid spectrum of possibilities. Well, science shows us that it's probably even less clearly defined than we thought!
Check this out...
How exactly does gender work? This is a fascinating talk about the many factors that influence how we identify ourselves along the gender spectrum. Biologist Karissa Sanbonmatsu shares new discoveries of how DNA is influenced by social and environmental factors and how life experiences shape how genes and gender are expressed. Truly fascinating!!
What new challenges might MKP face around gender identity?
Or do you identify (around color/race/ethnicity) as something different? Caucasian? Eastern-European?
An interesting discussion during our last study group in the Essentials of Cultural Competency course raised a number of challenging questions. How would you answer these?
1. If you were to introduce yourself culturally, how would you identify yourself along the color/race variable? What feelings and judgments come up for you with that question? With your answer? Any discomfort? - what's that about?
2. Given the likelihood that you have benefited from the privilege and power of being white-skinned, what is your resistance to identifying as white? Is there a shadow piece there?
3. What might be the impact on others (same and different) by identifying yourself with a term other than white? What message might you be sending to them? To yourself?
Comments? Share your take on this and let us know!
One of the darkest days of 2018 - the massacre of 11 Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh - rallied Americans of all faiths and backgrounds. The Rev. Eric Manning, who leads Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, where nine parishioners were massacred during a Bible study in 2015, met with Rabbi Jeffrey Meyers of the Tree of Life congregation. During the meeting, the two spiritual leaders "spread their arms wide and embraced at length, the rabbi patting the pastor rhythmically on the back as the pastor drew him close. Words were not necessary."
This is a beautifully written book about the exodus of almost six million black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities over much of the twentieth century. Pulitzer prize winning reporter Isabel Wilkerson interviewed over 1,000 people and gained access to new data and official records. Her narrative nonfiction focuses on the story of three of those people who were part of this epic migration - it takes us along with them on their life journey. With a tone of oral histories, the book puts faces, hearts and minds to this big part of U.S. history. A heartfelt, mesmerizing read!