During a group discussion this week on leadership and dynamics, an activity was facilitated around recognizing our privileges and rank within ourselves and in relation with our families. The activity was called “Power Shuffle” and its goal was to raise a liberation critical consciousness of our positionality. Doing these techniques allowed us to understand the impacts of marginalization, oppression, and exclusion that have affected each of our lives. This exercise personally impacted my own development and viewpoints on how I choose to identify and on what I choose to share or not share about my past/present. Being able to internalize and externalize how we felt to embrace our resilience, strengths, and capabilities is a great exercise to use in the field of social work.
As a future social worker, it is very important to know how to take the role as a leader. Being able to give direction and purpose, but also understanding with that privilege is our duty to empower others as well. During this week, I have observed and learned ways to build a comfortable space to enable and encourage others to share their stories and experiences. At my internship, Caminando Unidos, the staff and children had a group meeting to discuss any differences or instances that have occurred during the week. Sitting in a circle, each person says either a “congrats” or “critique” about someone aloud in order to give positive feedback and solve any issues. This provides a space for everyone in the program to handle conflict effectively and also accept compliments. This population is made up of children from ages one to twenty years old coming from families who have encountered violence in various forms and also addictions. As social workers, it is very important to acknowledge the diversity in clients, groups, and in cross-cultural settings. Both exercises are very effective and may have seemed simple to me at first, but really left a lasting impression on me and it is something I do not want to forget especially for my field of practice.