Understanding More about Cultural Communication, What is the problem?

During the November retreat I decided to change topics from the Vermont Opioid Epidemic to cultural Communications in schools. Before the retreat I had not really herd about this issue. I was reading Erin’s blogs so, I knew about some of the aspects involved. When Clara first started talking about her topic (which connected to Erin’s topic but also added the education aspect of it), I thought that it would be perfect for me! I was interested in the immigration topics, the education topics, and Erin’s topic, and this combined them all.

When we started to talk more about it as a group, the problem started to make a little more sense to me. This is not a very simple problem to talk about and understand in a weekend. So, I decided to learn more about this topic before I try  to create change.

What I found out this week through reading Clara’s blogs is that there are 2 different categories about this topic. Helping to attract and make welcome ELL students, and helping community’s understand the importance of their present in the state. Not just because of the work that they are capable of doing, but the culture and experiences that they can bring to our community’s. Especially, because Vermont is not very diverse, immigrants and refugee’s will benefit us. So we need to attract them to our state and make it easier to learn and integrate with Vermonters.

When I was reading one of Clara’s earlier blog posts, an interesting fact jumped out at me. That Vermont had many rural Community’s, and these community’s might not have enough resources to help New Vermonters. This was a good point that I did not think about yet, because Vermont is so small and not very populated in some areas it might be hard for community’s to welcome refugees or immigrants. It might be a reason why we have not already brought more refugees in. It might also be one of the challenges that we encounter throughout the year.

I think that this is a very relevant topic right now because of the Syrian refugees that might come to Rutland. It will be a great opportunity for our sate to become more diverse. For our group, I think it will be very beneficial to talk to some of the people helping run the program and potential later in the year to talk to the refugees themselves. This is not the only program that I have heard about through talking with my group this week, there are a few other programs that are similar to what we are looking at.

Sadly, some people do not see the same amount of benefit in this type of working then me. I think that they are scared of the change in their community. They might also have stereo-types blocking their view of the importance of these new Vermonters. I think that part of creating change will be trying to educate people on why it is so important to have these people in our community’s, and why it is important for refugees to have a place were they can call home.

Next week, I plan to do a little more research online and start to form some interview questions.


Featured Image: MMR Dad

Petra Kapsalis

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