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ChildSavers encourages you to see difference in this cultural competency blog

From ChildSavers:

ChildSavers prides itself on being a strengths-based, people-centered organization. We cannot accomplish that without understanding how identity and experience influence people’s strengths and needs. In order to have a person-centered approach to community building, we have to consider the history of the differences between people.

In this blog, CasSandra Calin talks about why not seeing people’s differences fails to recognize how history, legislation, and culture may have impacted a person’s personality, interactions, and relationships.

Here’s an excerpt that we found meaningful:

“I don’t see color” doesn’t help anyone. I would like to start a conversation about the danger of pretending that we don’t see difference. Pretending that we don’t notice difference allows us to be insensitive to people’s capacity, need, and experience.It allows us to pretend that we are free of bias, prejudice, and discrimination.

In order to have a person-centered approach to community building, we have to consider the history of the differences between people. We have to be willing to see, not only that a teenager we want to support is queer, but also how history, legislation, and culture may have impacted their personality, interactions, and relationships because of their queer identity.

“I don’t see color,” means that I don’t see the hurdles that you have jumped over to get here today. “I don’t notice difference,” means I do not consider the impact your childhood might have had on you differently than mine has had on me.

Check out CasSandra’s blog here!


SA Chaplin 04/29/2018 at 9:48 AM

Cassandra’s blog also includes this cautionary note:

“Noticing difference should lead to paying more attention rather than to making assumptions.”

This last point seems pretty significant to me.

Michael White 04/30/2018 at 6:59 AM


“I don’t see color” means you treat people for their character and not by the color of their skin.

“I don’t notice difference” means even if you had a hard childhood you still have the same opportunity.

Intersectionality is cancer.

Molly Crowe 04/30/2018 at 9:00 AM

You are incredibly wrong on many levels, but most importantly, you’re wrong on a scientific level. Studies have shown that “colorblindness” attitudes are highly correlated with racist attitudes and bias.

It’s a fact that not everyone has the same opportunities.

Ignorance is a cancer. But it has a cure.

Art Burton 05/01/2018 at 10:17 AM

The statement has no truth to it.

UH 04/30/2018 at 12:24 PM

@2 Intersectionality is imperative.

Bill 05/02/2018 at 2:01 AM

The statement has plenty of meaningless gibberish

Christy Jenkins 05/04/2018 at 4:43 AM

I’ve never liked that phrase “I don’t see color.” Someone’s race is an integral part of their identity. So is ethnicity, and family legacy. I’m white. I’m also Lithuanian, Irish, Slavic, and a blend of Eastern European. My family history of immigration from extreme poverty, tremendous hard work, tragic loss and violence, alcoholism, etc….. I did not personally live with those things, but they echo through the generations to affect who I am today, the good and the bad. All of it is a legacy that is precious to me and helps me understand who I am. So when I see someone else, particularly someone of color, I naturally see the obvious, and I also very much what to know the not so obvious. It’s called compassion. It’s also a way to see our common humanity and experiences in spite of our obvious and not so obvious differences. It is OK to want to find common ground. Common ground is the foundation of unity. Unity and diversity are not opposed to one another.


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