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Learning Methods

Build Community by Appreciating Differences

Instructions: Ask everyone to work in groups of 6, listening without interruption while each person takes a turn sharing a 5-minute story in response to the question, "What is one of your earliest memories of noticing differences, and feeling different than those around you in some way, whether in regard to race, class, gender, physical ability, etc.?"

After 30 minutes, ask them to do the same with this: "Choose one aspect of your identify, with regard to race, class, gender, physical ability, whatever. What are some good things about having that identify? What are some difficult things about having that identity?" Give them 30 minutes.

Process: Tell them that others who've done this have said the discussions created an incredible amount of human interest, personal safety, and warmth toward the people whose stories they heard. Ask them to give examples of people's stories that made them feel each of these to the Group Facilitation listserv (


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