Your identity is made up of all the parts that make you, you. We can choose some aspects of our identity, such as the clothes we wear, the activities we enjoy, the sport we pursue. Other aspects of identity are not within our control, such as our race, parents, or range of abilities. The following exercise asks you to consider how each part of your identity influences your experiences, and how others’ identities influence theirs.
1. CREATE YOUR OWN IDENTITY MAP
List your identity group memberships using the example
2. ASK YOURSELF
Consider each identity group you are a part of and ask yourself
these questions: What have I experienced or not experienced
because of my membership in this group? Which of these
memberships are visible, and which are invisible? Which of
these memberships are most fundamental to who I am? Am I
acknowledging both the visible and invisible group memberships
of the people around me?
After completing your identity map and answering the questions
in #2, consider the following thought piece as well:
“In a landscape ferociously divided on economic, regional, racial and
creedal lines, the job of leaders is to stand above these divides and
seek to heal them. The job of leaders is not to impose their values on
everyone else; it is to defend a pluralistic order in which different
communities can work out their own values.
Leaders need a positive moral vision of unity. That unity is based on
a recognition of the complex humanity of each person — that each
person is in the act of creating a meaningful life. It would neither
ignore group identities, nor reduce complex humans to only their
group identities. This unity would stand for humanity in its most
human and most holistic sense.”