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Excluded by Choice: A Conversation about Difference

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The following is a snippet from an interview that was published in the print and online September issues of The Community Edition. In it, Jesse Bauman interviews Luann Good Gingrich about her new book and her thoughts on inclusion, exclusion, and how we can grow through our differences. A huge thanks to Jesse and The Community Edition for allowing us to share this as a #WeBelongWR post. Click here to view the full article, and here to read more stories from The Community Edition.

JB: So that’s a good segue, to your last chapter, where you write that “to challenge social exclusion is not to change the other… but ourselves.” What does social inclusion look like? How do we get there?

LGG: We need to make more room for difference, and learn to honour and value different approaches to making a living, and to honour and value different world views. Our current ways of being in the world and with each other are contrived, and we can choose something different.

Luann Good Gingrich

I recognize that these are “big ideas,” and the systems and structures I aim to investigate and ultimately change are complex and multi-faceted. My starting point is everyday, ordinary interactions and inter-personal relationships. This is, I think, how change in systems is made possible. I work hard in my teaching to help students recognize and then evaluate their own common sense. To recognize that we have a worldview that is not the only way to view the world requires being confronted with something different.

So, for example, I bring my students to listen to stories from an aboriginal knowledge-keeper and encourage them to connect with the alternative worldviews and value systems that they know.  My hope is that they begin to know – to feel – that we are not alone, that each one brings something of value (and no one brings everything), that we need one another, and that we have both influence and responsibility to strive toward just relationships in the communities and institutions in which we engage.

Click here to read the full article from The Community Edition.

 

September 6th, 2016
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