Starting Monday (August 20, 2018), I'm going to be participating in a learning experience called "Storytelling for Cultural Competence."
My colleague Jessica Beckendorf and I created the experience as a part of the upcoming 2018 Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Virtual Conference focusing on cultural competence. When we started working on the learning experience, our goal was to get participants more comfortable talking about cultural competence in advance of the conference, but as the experience developed new goals emerged.
We discovered that developing cultural competence is a journey, something to be worked on over time, not just over a few days. We also discovered the connections between storytelling and cultural competence highlighted in the work of Jan Carter-Black. As a result, "Storytelling for Cultural Competence" changed from a pre-conference activity into a learning experience that frames the MFLN Virtual Conference, but also serves a a launching point for and, hopefully, a way to sustain your momentum on your cultural competence journey.
The experience begins with the "Personal Storytelling Journal," which provides daily prompts, weekly reflections and storytelling tips that encourage self-knowledge (an important part of cultural competence), cultivate empathy and connection, and provide a space to practice the vulnerability and authenticity required for cultural conversation.
Over the next several weeks, I'll be sharing my experience using the journal on this blog. I hope you can follow along, but I really hope you'll try the "Storytelling for Cultural Competence" learning experience yourself.