1. Single Story
Mr. Kirby: I recognize that I need to spend some time reflecting on my personal stereotypes and biases. Sometimes they’re so ingrained that it’s difficult to even become aware of them. How do you do it?
Ms. Two-Rivers: Just recognizing that you need to become aware can actually help. You’ve already taken a great first step by acknowledging that need.
Mr. Kirby: That’s encouraging. What else can I do?
Ms. Two-Rivers: I saw a great TED video not long ago that might be helpful. I found that it gave me a different framework for thinking about my own biases.
Mr. Kirby: How so?
Ms. Two-Rivers: It’s about the concept of a “Single Story.” We all have stories we tell about different groups of people or places or even individuals. Those stories might even be true, or at least partially true. The problem comes when that story becomes the only story we know about someone. We tell that same story over and over. It shapes how we perceive people because we view everything within the lens of that Single Story.
Mr. Kirby: But a Single Story can’t tell you everything about a person. Everyone has multiple dimensions.
Ms. Two-Rivers: Exactly. Most of us have picked up Single Stories throughout our lives. We’re often not even conscious of them because we’ve been telling them to ourselves for so long. This video helped me shift my perspective and identify some stories I didn’t even realize I was relying on.
Mr. Kirby: Sounds like deep stuff.
Ms. Two-Rivers: It is. Take some time to really reflect on this idea of the Single Story.