On Jan. 11, members from the Addison Unity Forum led parents leaders, from the Addison Trail High School Citizens Advisory Council and parents leaders from the other boosters organizations in a program titled, “Cultural Competency: Focus on Ethnicity & Race.” The members of the Addison Unity Forum who facilitated the program were Nicole Claude, Rick Delawder, Marco Gasca, Jose Angel Rivera and Mark Turk.
The program provided several topics and learning activities, includind Dimensions of Diversity, Initial and Cultural Introductions, Impacts of Assumptions, Defining Ethnicity and Culture, Cultural Misunderstandings and Benefits, Understanding Communication Filters, Race as a Social and Cultural Context, Race and Ethnicity Matter and Understanding and Managing Our Privileges.
The goal for the evening included increasing the participants’comfort in addressing race and ethnicity, exploring and defining concepts of race and ethnicity, increasing the number of courageous and respectful conversations across lines of difference, enhancing feelings of comfort with the discomfort in creating cultural change, understanding how “privilege” impacts fairness and clarifying the need for personal commitment to cultural competence.
If you would like the Addison Unity Task Force to conduct a similar workshop for your community group, call Addison Trail at 630- 628- 3300. This workshop is another example of why the Village of Addison is continuously improving as a community.
The next Citizens Advisory Council meeting will be Wednesday, February 8 at 7 p.m.in the Blazer Room at Addison Trail. The speaker will be Curtis Tate, Dean of Students at Addison Trail. Tate will focus on Bullying Interventions. The history and background…
Historically, The Unity Task Force came into existence because Mayor Larry Hartwig and the citizens of Addison recognized a need to unify the community to an inclusive one. Over time The Unity Task Force has evolved into a cultural awareness platform for different organizations such as the Community Advisory Commission (CAC) at the Addison Trail, according to J. Angel Rivera. The recent presentation was an opportunity for a second, more in depth workshop for the CAC group.
“The Unity Task Force of Addison is compromised of community members committed to strengthning Addison by promoting increased participation, respect, open communication, understanding, empathy and appreciation of a diverse community to enhance the Addison Advantage for all its residents,” Rivera said. “Its goal is to acknowledge and celebrate the community’s diversity and unity.”
Task Force leaders are trained and certified by Bea Young Associates and led a three-hour workshap called “Diversity and Inclusion Workshop” held in September 2010.
The Unity Task Force is an actively growing group, having participated in WorldFest in partnership with the Addison Public Library and Unity Task Force Multi-Cultural Show. One workshop was conducted at Lincoln Elementary School in collaboration with Principal Lina Guio in May 2011. Addison Unity Task Force was also featured on ABC-Channel 7 for its September 24th show. “the N (egne) Beat with Emmy Award-winning host Theresa Gutierrez.
Mark Turk acknowledged his participation and growth as a Unity Task Force member. “It has been remarkable to witness firsthand the growth and progress of cultural competence in our community” he said. “The exchange in dialogue between so many different cultures and nationalities has been both inspiring and educational. Mayor Larry Hartwig and our Co-Chairperson, Don Hendricks are instrumental in causing success to our training and development process.”
For more information about Addison Unity Task Force: Building The Future of Addison and its commitments you may contact: J. Angel Rivera, Co-Chairperson, 630-841-3859: Rick Delawder, at 630 543-3003: or call Addison Trail High School, 630-628-3300.
Reproduced as published in Addison Independent for the February 2, 2012 issue.
Nicole Claude-Unity Task Force Member, Facilitator, contributing writer to this story