Intercambio was built on the foundation of a mutual learning mindset, cultivating meaningful connections across cultures, and conversations that expand perspectives for students and teachers. As the fight against racism continues, conversations about race and racism have been happening at Intercambio.
Intercambio recently hosted a few online conversations about racism for English Learners. These brave conversation spaces aim to combat racism by allowing participants to dive deeper into race and racial justice. Many immigrants are hungry to talk and learn about racism and to share their lived experiences, but few opportunities exist to discuss it in safe, structured settings. Few English teachers nationwide have the tools or confidence to bring up these difficult topics in their classes.
Our students and a few teachers who participated enjoyed the conversations and expressed a strong desire for more. Many adult English learners (like plenty of U.S. Americans!) have very limited knowledge about racism and its history in the United States, and they want to learn more and share more. For instance, many were shocked to learn about Jim Crow segregation. They had lots of questions and shared about how segregation shows up in their native country. They shared their personal experiences with the police in the U.S. and in their native country. They shared about positive experiences with people in the U.S. and of experiences when they were told to go back to where they came from. The conversations can be elevating, educational, painful, healing, and necessary.
Now Intercambio is currently exploring opportunities to partner with diverse organizations and world-class facilitators to expand access for English learners and community volunteers around the country who want to participate in these critical conversations. We need to create more spaces to connect and learn from each other about racism during this potentially pivotal time.
If you are interested in financially supporting the pilot to expand these opportunities or learning more, contact Lee@intercambio.org.
If you are interested in inviting English learners at your program to join these conversations this fall/winter, contact Lee@intercambio.org.