Starting the conversation: Initial listening and identity approaches to community cultural wellness

Beverly L. Smith-Keiling, Archana Sharma, Sheritta M. Fagbodun, Harsimranjit K. Chahal, Keyaira Singleton, Hari Gopalakrishnan, Katrina E. Paleologos, Jayla Brantley, Vy Nguyen, Mahesh Mathew, Amanda J. Van De Ligt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Inclusion of multiple viewpoints increases when teams are diverse and provides value in scientific communication and discovery. To promote retention and raise the critical mass of underrepresented persons in science, all voices must be heard "at the table"to include "ways of knowing"outside the dominant institutional culture. These community-based inclusive concepts promote hearing all diverse perspectives for inclusive recognition of deeper socio-historical cultural wealth-collectively termed cultural wellness. When undergraduates and graduates in active-learning groups in class, or faculty collaborative teams on campus, start a project too quickly on task, opportunities are missed to be inclusive. While beginning a larger science project, we, student and faculty co-authors, first addressed this challenge -the need for greater inclusion of diverse perspectives-by starting a conversation. Here, we share ideas from our inclusive process. Based on social constructivist theories of co-constructing learning interpersonally, we co-mentored each other, learning from one another in community. We experientially considered how to inclusively collaborate across a demographically, geographically, and structurally heterogeneous group including multiple academic tiers from multiple ethnic backgrounds, cultural experiences, and institutions. Through an asset-based process grounded in several frameworks, we documented our introduction process of listening deeply, being mindful of identities including invisible cultural identities, recognizing each other with mutual respect, applying inclusive practices, and developing mutual trust and understanding. Building community takes time. Initial conversations can, and should, go deeper than mere introductions to build trust beyond social norms for relationships promoting cultural wellness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biology Education
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Cultural Wellness Center for helpful input, Joya Mukerji for helpful discussions of frameworks, and others who have shared ideas toward inclusion through ongoing co-mentoring discussions of this paper. We also acknowledge the ongoing CRISPR STEM project: Kee- Lee Stocks, Asumi Hoshino, Rodahina Pasteurin, Rodney Claude, Etinosa Iyayi, and Sephora Jean. This project was supported in part by a grant to the University of Minnesota from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Science Education Program and by the University of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Funding Information:
We thank the Cultural Wellness Center for helpful input, Joya Mukerji for helpful discussions of frameworks, and others who have shared ideas toward inclusion through ongoing co-mentoring discussions of this paper. We also acknowledge the ongoing CRISPR STEM project: Kee-Lee Stocks, Asumi Hoshino, Rodahina Pasteurin, Rodney Claude, Etinosa Iyayi, and Sephora Jean. This project was supported in part by a grant to the University of Minnesota

Funding Information:
from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Science Education Program and by the University of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Author(s).

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Starting the conversation: Initial listening and identity approaches to community cultural wellness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this