Office of Diversity Programming
The Common Ground Manual has been developed in progressive levels in order to give participants the opportunity to delve beyond the surface in dealing with issues of multiculturalism. The manual is divided into 5 levels of exercises. The levels have been developed as follows:
Level 1- Identity: The exercises in this level answer the question Who Am I? The exercises are designed to help participants understand their cultural backgrounds and to gain a greater understanding of who they are.
Level 2- Discovery: The exercises in this level address the connection between who the person is and how they became who they are – how they came to be that way. What impacted how they view the world and their place in society? In these exercises the participants begin to explore values, beliefs and also biases and prejudices that they may hold.
Level 3- Understanding Relationships: This section gives the participants the opportunity to examine how their beliefs impact the relationships they have with others. How their values, beliefs, biases and prejudices impact their perceptions of others and how they interact in the world will be addressed. The exercises in this section will engage the participants in a better understanding of prejudice and racism – its existence in our society and our relationship to these concepts.
Level 4- Impact: The exercises in this section are designed to assist the participants in gaining a clearer understanding of the impact of the “isms” on our society and its members. For example: How does homophobia hurt those in our society, how our societal constructs hurt each and every one of us?
Level 5- Action: The exercises in this last section give the participants an opportunity to make decisions regarding how they want to change their lives and work to create a just, inclusive and equitable society for all. Participants will also be able to create diversity strategies for inclusiveness in the institutions to which they belong, for example: clubs, organizations, classes, teams, departments, work places and schools and universities.