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We Can’t Afford to Be Colorblind Kevin Gordon, Camp Kupugani
Agenda The issue: under representation The changing population Who we serve currently Barriers to serving diverse campers Ways that we can serve them better
80706050 Percentage of Children of Camper Age in US (2015)40 Percentage of Campers Served By ACA Resident Camps (2010)302010 0 White Latino(a) Black Asian Multiracial
THE MAKEUP OF CAMP OWNERS AND ADMINISTRATORS DIVERGES FROM OUR CAMP-AGED POPULATIONS Camp Kupugani is the only black-owned private residential camp in the U.S. Fewer than 4 % of US resident camp directors are of color: of 251 sample size, 242 White, 2 Hispanic/Latino(a), 1 Black, 1 Asian / Pacific Islander, 5 no response (2009 ACA Compensation & Benefits Survey) White Black Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander No Response
THE MAKEUP OF CAMP STAFFDIVERGES FROM OUR CAMP-AGED POPULATIONS 100 90 80 Percentage of 70 Children of 60 Camper Age in 50 US (2015) 40 Percentage of 30 Counselors at 20 US Resident 10 Camps (2010) 0 Latino(a) Asian White Black Multiracial White Black Hispanic/Latino(a) Multiracial Asian Native American / Pacific Islander
Problem Roots Psychological barriers Institutional barriers
Problem Roots: Psychological Barriers White privilege Lack of cultural competence
White Privilege Defined P erceived advantages enjoyed by white people beyond that which is commonly experienced by non-white people in those same social, political, and economic spaces (nation, community, workplace, income, etc.). It differs from racism or prejudice in that a person benefiting from white privilege does not necessarily hold racist beliefs or prejudices themselves and can be, as is often the case, unaware of his or her privilege. (Wikipedia.com).
White Privilege Defined Again A white person...has privilege, simply because one is white. As a member of the dominant group a white person has greater access or availability to resources. White ways of thinking and living are the norm against which all people of color are compared. Life is structured around those norms for the benefit of white people. (Http://www.ucc.Org/sacred- conversation/multiracialmulticultural.Html).
…And Again The ability to grow up thinking that race doesn’t matter. Not having to daily think about skin color and the questions, looks, and hurdles that need to be overcome because of one’s color. It may be less recognizable to some white people because of gender, age, sexual orientation, economic class or physical or mental ability, but it remains a reality because of one’s membership in the white dominant group. (Http://www.ucc.Org/sacred- conversation/multiracialmulticultural.Html).
White Privilege Ramifications Comfort with status quo Comfort with being generally good people actually limits progress because it diminishes any sense of urgency
Lack of Cultural Competence Is a Problem Cultural competency is an ongoing process and practice that builds the capacity of organizations and individuals to understand, accept, value, and honor the unique contributions of all people, including people’s: ability, age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, geographic region, health, language, mental health, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and spirituality.
Cultural Competence Continuum Cultural destructiveness – Practices which seek to denigrate and destroy other cultures. Cultural incapacity – The organization or individual does not intentionally seek to be culturally destructive but rather lacks the capacity to help diverse clients or communities. Cultural blindness – An organization or individual believes that culture makes no difference and that we are all the same. All populations are expected to assimilate and adapt to the services that best serve the dominant culture.
Cultural Competence Continuum Cultural pre-competence – An acceptance and respect for differences and continuing self- assessment regarding organizational culture. The culturally competent organization works to hire unbiased employees. Advanced cultural competence – Holding culture in high esteem . . . . the culturally proficient organization hires staff who are specialists in culturally competent practice. Such an organization advocates for cultural competence throughout the system and improved relations between cultures throughout society. (T. Cross 1988). "Cultural competence continuum." Focal point, the bulletin of the research and training center on family support and childrens mental health, Portland state university, as cited in “cultural competency: the key to hiring diverse staff” (Gretchen Vaughn, September/October 2007 issue of camping magazine.).
Lack of Cultural Competence Ramifications Cultural differences and racial biases continue to inhibit career paths of people of color seeking camp opportunities Even some professionals that support diversity subconsciously stereotype minority subordinates Inability to appreciate motivating behaviors – safety as primary reservation – family plays key role – camp was never part of culture – importance of staff/ownership modeling and support from other campers of color
Problem Roots: Institutional Barriers Recreational programs admittees and enrollees are predominantly white Culture of camp Communication – Allow phone calls? – Open door policy? – Strive to win parents over to traditional camp culture? Session length and fees? Programming? Lack of mentorship Few people of color work in the field; therefore there is limited availability of qualified mentors for those seeking guidance and direction
How Do We Implement Change? Develop cultural relevancy Support owners of color Develop staff of color Recruit and support campers of color
“Camp Kupugani helped me realizeeveryone is unique and that makes usspecial, and everyone is alike and thatbrings us together.”
“I love Camp Kupuganibecause it is so diverse, and the people hereaccept you for who are.”
“My daughters are multi-racial; their father is African American and American Indian and I am white. I talk to them a lot aboutrace and I just worry that they feel like they dont "fit" in. When [my daughter] talkedabout feeling "at home" at Kupugani, it just made me feel like the camp offered her a place where she could truly be herself.”
We Can’t Afford to Be Colorblind Kevin Gordon, Camp Kupugani firstname.lastname@example.org Slideshare.net/kupugani for specific tips on: Embracing The Larger Culture Widening The Circle: Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Campers