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Conversations for Change



Families in Global Transition (FIGT) held its first Conversations for Change session. The objective was to examine privilege and to explore how our communities might respond to racism, inequities, disparities, and discrimination around the world. The session was hosted by FIGT Treasurer, LaShell Tinder, and Ezinne (Kwubiri) Okoro. Here are some main points to reflect on...


Reflecting on Labels

In our daily lives, we come across different words that point to how we describe/ label a person. Most likely, we make assumptions about each “type” of person, such as by associating them with a particular socioeconomic status and/or experience.


For example, a refugee (someone who is unwilling to return to their home country out of fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, region, social/ political group) might conjure up an image of someone who is in need, often from a lower socioeconomic class. However, a refugee may have funds, be educated, have their profound networks. They may have been heads of companies or professors in their countries but because of their displacement, are working in low-skilled jobs for which they are overqualified. The realities are not as clear cut as the terminology may suggest.


These misassociation of labels can cause us to create social and racial distancing from a specific group. It's important to be cautious with our words, so we are not excluding or idolizing particular groups.


Reflecting on Privilege

Privilege—or lack thereof—is an inherent part of our assumptions of labels we put on others.

Privilege doesn’t only refer to economic status. It may come from our ability to speak English fluently or from easy access to the internet and technology. Think of the privileges you have exercised during shelter-in-place orders, due to the global health pandemic - Covid19.


Not acknowledging or recognizing your privilege is, in itself, a sign of privilege!


Identifying one’s privilege is the core of breaking inequality and social injustice and shaping a space for diversity and inclusion. In order for you to support and advocate for others, you have to recognize how you are different from them and how you are benefiting from that difference.


If you want to use your privilege to educate others, turn your allyship into action!

  1. Create a safe, honest, and vulnerable space to have courageous conversations

  2. Be open to the conversation and share your own stories

  3. Reflect. Give clear examples on how your own privilege shows up


Reflecting on Gender Equality and Mobility

Women are often labeled as the caregivers/ nurturers; whose careers lack progression or sometimes even suspended. How often do we pull ourselves back, as women? Sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to take a chance and let others support us. We can not, and do not, want to do it all. However, we deserve equality and mobility to navigate as desired.


In summary, we need to call out social injustices and face change. If we don’t talk about it, we will continue the vicious cycle of inequality, microaggressions, and underrepresentation.


Let’s keep the conversation going!


This summary was extracted from Families in Global Transition (FIGT) blog recap of the Conversations for Change, which was written and edited by EN with SB. To learn more about FIGT and read the full recap, please visit their website at FIGT.org.

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© 2020 Ezinne Okoro