Sunday, November 27, 2011

Breaking Down Stereotypes
by Taylor Corcoran, Iskashitaa HCET Intern

Before moving here, most of the individuals Iskashitaa works with likely had preconceived notions of what life in America was like. I had always assumed that my own stereotypes about refugees would factor in to how I interact with individuals during harvests and ESL classes, but I had never stopped to consider what role their ideas about us may play in the acculturation process. When I analyze my stereotypes pertaining to refugees, I realize that my strongest idea is that the majority of refugees come from impoverished, underdeveloped nations with poor systems of education. I am glad that, even within the first month of interning with Iskashitaa, this stereotype has begun to crumble. I have harvested with individuals who ran their own businesses in their former lives, spoken with families who had everything in their home country and lost it all when they moved here, and shared the common experience of being human with those whose language and culture differ from my own.

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