Explore issues of self identity and respect for others.
Explore the ways in which identity can be a source of exclusion as well as inclusion and what steps we need to take to resist this exclusion.
Introduction: Post it note game(10 minutes) Place post it notes onto the individuals on each Young Persons head on in the group with a stereotype and get everyone to walk around the group asking questions that can only be replied with the answer YES or NO to try and guess who they are.
Examples of what you could put onto the post it notes:
Hipster, Christian, Muslim, Boy, Girl, Cousin … etc
Now get the young people to think about how they are seen / judged by other people. Get them all to write down anonymously and in silence onto a scrap of paper the first thing that they think other people label them as when they first meet them. Collect these back in and write them up on the flipchart paper and have a group discussion.
Do these labels reflect who you are?
What does it feel like only being seen as one part of your identity?
Does the knowledge that some people might label you in this way – does it make you act differently around certain different people / places in your life and if so, when? Is this usually a negative or positive change?
Do you ever find yourself stereotyping others? Can anyone be brave enough to give an example of a time they have stereotyped someone when they know it probably is not true?
What do you think would enable people to not just see individuals as just one label?
Identity Puzzles(40 minutes)
Split the group into three groups and station them across four tables / areas. Each group has a piece of paper to fill in as they go across the different areas. They will have only ten minutes to discuss at each station.
“In my neighborhood, there are four Black people. Hundreds of houses, four Black people. Who are these Black people? Well, there’s me, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z and Eddie Murphy. Only Black people in the whole neighborhood. So let’s break it down, let’s break it down: me, I’m a decent comedian. I’m a’ight. Mary J. Blige, one of the greatest R&B singers to ever walk the Earth. Jay-Z, one of the greatest rappers to ever live. Eddie Murphy, one of the funniest actors to ever, ever do it. Do you know what the White man who lives next door to me does for a living? He’s a f**king dentist! He ain’t the best dentist in the world…he ain’t going to the Dental Hall of Fame…he don’t get plaques for getting rid of plaque. He’s just a yank-your-tooth-out dentist. See, the Black man gotta fly to get to somethin’ the White man can walk to!”
Left hand side of the paper write these questions:
- What is Chris Rock trying to say? Do you agree with him?
- Do you think that racism is still around today?
- What do you think perpetuates racism?
Right hand side of paper - these two cleverly worded personal accounts of exclusion:
“There are only three places in Bradford that I feel comfortable in”
“When I was younger I had a really close group of friends and we were all so different. However my difference was very often seen as a joke and I felt that in order to fit in I had to play up to it and made jokes at my expense. That was okay for a while, but I realised it was really affecting my self-esteem and found it very hard to be taken seriously. When I raised this with my friends it took a long time for them to realise it was genuinely upsetting me. It took a while for it not to be such an issue but I am so glad that I raised it because it deepened or friendship in the long run and even though it can still be an issue I am so happy I dealt with it when I was younger”