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Circles of My Multicultural Self

This activity highlights the multiple dimensions of our identities. It addresses the relationships between our desires to self-define our identities and the social constructions that label us regardless of how we define ourselves.

Place your name in the center circle of the structure below. Write an important aspect of your identity in each of the satellite circles -- an identifier or descriptor that you feel is important in defining you. This can include anything: Asian American, female, mother, athlete, educator, Taoist, scientist, or any descriptor with which you identify.

1. Share a story about a time you were especially proud to identify with one of the descriptors you used above.

2. Share a story about a time it was especially painful to be identified with one of your identifiers or descriptors.

3. Name a stereotype associated with one of the groups with which you identify that is not consistent with who you are. Fill in the following sentence:

I am (a/an) _____________________ but I am NOT (a/an)_____________________.

(So if one of my identifiers was "Christian," and I thought a stereotype was that all Christians are radical right Republicans, my sentence would be:

I am a Christian, but I am NOT a radical rightwing Republican.

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