GenAi’s first Crossing Cultures Dialogue event illuminated the power of community-building, reflection, and dialogue.
At this dialogue event, a small group of young people came together to discuss, explore, and understand differing cultural values, various family dynamics, and the pressures of the “model minority” stereotype. Some of the questions we explored included: What does well-being mean to you? How does your relationship with your family’s culture affect your well-being? How would you envision a conversation around mental well-being between you and your family? Each question sparked internal reflection that helped individuals gain a better understanding of their own experiences of well-being. Conversations ranged immensely, touching upon issues like resiliency, shame, guilt, making peace/understanding, and unlearning.
Some of the key learning of this dialogue event is that within spaces built for people of colour, there is immense capability for growth and understanding. The nuances of mental health, family, and culture are challenging experiences and conversations on this issue can be triggering and painful. Dialogue often draws upon very personal experiences. However, through community building and creating trusting spaces for young people of colour, individuals can develop awareness, empowerment, and safety.
GenAi is a project that hopes to enable people of colour, their families, and associated community members to gather together and engage in the conversations about mental health and well-being as people of colour. This is a project that is particularly interested in sparking conversation and exploring the intersection of culture and family that has shaped the struggles, stressors, and lived experiences of mental well-being.
GenAi will continue exploring this issue in the upcoming months so look out for them on social media! Their next dialogue event will be on June 21st, 2019, with a focus on ancestry and heritage. More details can be found here.