Rev. Giovanni Arroyo of the General Council On Religion and Race pushed his breakout session to develop an awareness of how internal, external, and organizational dimensions mix with our personality to create the lenses with which we view the world.
Participants divided into pairs and shared three things about themselves that one cannot discern by looking at the other person. Members of the group shared how they felt that they got an interesting and deep view of the other person in a short conversation by not looking at the outside.
The group then examined factors that impact cultural identity by naming internal and external factors. In response to this activity, one participant shared that, “I had unexpected things in common with my partner. Our stories were not the same since we grew up in different places and in different times, but there were experiences and emotions which we had in common.”
Another participant, Rev. Cleve May, shared that “Naming and claiming identity is very vulnerable.” The group discussed how a circle of influences on worldview that began with personality and ended with outside organizations affected each person’s cultural identity. We need intercultural competency in order to engage in intercultural dialog with grace. Once we look beneath the skin, we find out what complicated and deep creatures humans are.