Culture Conscious Listening: Diverse Indigenous Perspectives Workshop

Artwork by Michaela Rubalcava. Circular motifs with letters spelling 'Belongingness'.

Oct. 15, 2021, 12 - 1:30 p.m.



Sponsored by:

Micaela Rubalcava conducts a 1-hour Culture Conscious Listening: Diverse Indigenous Perspectives workshop. This is an interactive, sensory-based antibias-antiracist workshop. You will apply Culture Conscious Listening to learn how to hear and share diverse Indigenous experiences with TMCC Diversity Advocate, Dr. Micaela Rubalcava. You will practice three inclusion exercises: Third Eye/Third Ear, Culture Conscious Breath-work, and the Five Steps to Culture Conscious Listening. This workshop develops cultural compassion, structural competence, and cross-cultural belongingness for global times.

F.R.E.E., operating continuously since its founding in 2003, is TMCC’s longest running interdisciplinary learning community. Learning communities—theme collaborations among cohorts of educators and students—are forums for shared social-emotional learning to deepen academic engagement. F.R.E.E. is an example of a "laboratory" learning community, focusing on imaginative evolving student-centered themes to engage previously scheduled courses into big picture academics through a year-long series of events. Involving approximately 200 students and 10 active cross-disciplinary faculty each year, F.R.E.E. centers on holism. For example, the 2021–22 theme—“Whole Campus Book Club for Belonging: Diverse Indigenous Perspectives”—involves a cross-section of 27 faculty and staff from different departments alongside our respective students. During the year, we study and participate in activities to understand and connect diverse Indigenous perspectives to established courses. One goal is to learn how to nurture a sense of belonging out of trauma, as well as to nurture intact cultures and resources that exist apart from trauma.

Two books were selected by a cross-section of campus participants to be read one semester at a time: There There by Tommy Orange (fiction), and An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz (nonfiction). We are reading purposeful excerpts and we acknowledge that we read the books on land that was once populated by thriving Indigenous communities, such as the Paiute, Shoshone, and Washoe. Some of us are journaling handmade registers assembled from recycled materials, relating book insights to course units, assignments, and skills. As the academic year unfolds, we will participate in collaborative events to understand various Indigenous experiences present and past, exploring environmental education, multiple narrative voices, storytelling and oral history traditions, statistical analysis, research methodologies, mental and physical health practices, trust-building from betrayal, political engagement, urban vs rural identities, local vs regional vs global identities, artifacts as identity, insider vs outsider understandings, and community rituals, such as pow wows, totem-making, textiles, ceramics, baskets, meals, and round house ceremonies. As participation in diversity experiences and collaborations balance the mainstream curriculum narrative on campus, we open academics to Indigenous voices.