When establishing alliances with diverse groups, it is best to assume that trust will have to be earned—and to keep in mind that building cross-cultural solidarity is a difficult and long-term process that cannot be reduced to formulas.
This section is a guide to beginning to build solidarity with others across social and cultural differences. It lays out a seven-step process that will help you understand the imbalance of power among different races, ethnicities, and social groups; recognize oppression; and be aware of your own culture and forms of privilege.
Some of the exercises and reflection questions are directed toward white people who are trying to build bridges with people of color in North America. However, these exercises will be helpful for all who are trying to establish solidarity in situations where certain groups are socially and politically dominant over others or where other social and cultural differences (such as age, gender, sexual orientation, mental ability, and so on) create an imbalance of power or privilege.
To effectively build alliances in these circumstances, people from more privileged groups with greater access to resources must understand the history of exploitation in their society and how they have benefited from it.
Seven Steps to Cross-Cultural Solidarity
Step 1: Understanding the Importance of Cultural Differences
Step 2: Getting to Know Your Own Culture
Step 3: Getting to Know Other Cultures
Step 4: Learning About Social Power
Step 5: Understanding Access to Power
Step 6: Understanding Cultural Values as an Asset
Step 7: Working from a Solidarity Framework
Last modified 2004-08-29 01:14 PM