Recently I participated in a professional training on the acculturation, identity and family of Chinanxs with Dr. Manuel X. Zamarripa. Although Dr. Zamarripa’s trainings are from the mental health perspective the material presented and the experiences shared are relevant and useful to any who have an interest in cultural awareness, those that want to learn about multiculturalism and diversity, and simply, those that just “don’t get” why others “have to go there?!?”
Two of three points discussed in Chicanx Psychology: Acculturation, Identity and Family were of main interest to me and the work I do to bridge and foster cultural communication and community engagement with the Latinx and Hispanic communities. They are, recognizing the influence of historical, social and cultural factors, and recognizing that ethnicity influences human behavior. Having an awareness of the immigrant and native frameworks is important and supports informed and respectful communication. Culturally informed communication (trauma-informed, in some cases) then leads to a successful engagement, fostering positive relationships.
The primary Chicanx cultural characteristics include language, community and family –centered, and health and medicinal practices, key considerations to the development of respectful awareness by others. Secondary characteristics that have evolved out of accommodation, need, assimilation, in other words, out of circumstance and survival, as well as concrete, include cultural culinary replacements, and, I would add, style of dress.
Dr. Zamarripa’s then shares the seven tenants of a Chicanx / Mestizx Psychology and the group discussion opens up in a wondrous sharing of personal and unique experiences that give participants the sense of connectedness within a cultural, and within the humankind.
I highly recommend Dr. Zamarripa’s professional trainings on Chicanx Psychology. I’ll be sharing my thoughts and experience of the workshop in a blog post, please drop by The Culturist soon!