What’s In Your Cultural Backpack?  is a program for middle and high school youth that provides  them  with greater insights and acceptance of the diversity within themselves and others.

Today, students carry a backpack with them wherever they go.  In it, they carry all that is important to them and all of the things that they need to get through the day—school books, lunch, music, athletic gear, personal notes, etc.   Just as they carry this physical backpack, they also carry a Cultural Backpack with them everywhere and use it when they are in class, studying, meeting with friends, with their family, playing a sport or participating in a school or community activity.  Their Cultural Backpack carries the richness of who they are and contains all the elements that make them special and unique.

Through discussion and a series of exercises, the What’s In Your Cultural Backpack?  program encourages youth to understand the need and importance of diversity in today’s world and enables them to begin the important dialogue of sharing differences, leading to a greater understanding and acceptance of the difference in others and the commonalities amongst us all.

What’s in Your Cultural Backpack? was originally developed for Glaxo-Smith KIine to be a companion to their employee mentoring program with Sto-Rox Middle School. Since, the program has been presented at the 2007 Peabody Week Without Violence in Pittsburgh, PA and the 2010 Cherry Creek Diversity Conference in Denver, CO.

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