from Assoc. Professor Nancy Shore (UNE School of Social Work)November 12, 2011
This summer I had the opportunity to watch A Lot Like You as part of the Seattle International Film Festival. Amazing! The film raised so many important questions and provided such critical insight into how interconnected our experiences of race, class, gender, trauma and sexuality can be in forming our cultural identity. I immediately wanted to figure out a way for my graduate social work students to engage with this powerful film.
Fortunately Eli Kimaro is allowing University of New England students to screen her film as part of their Human Behavior in the Social Environment course. As our course syllabus states, this class is designed:
“to develop and refine our consciousness of the continuous, dynamic and historical relationship that persists between human beings in any social context.”
This film will undoubtedly help our students deepen their discussions and explorations of many of the course themes. Worth noting, is that A Lot Like You could effectively be used in other courses, such as diversity or trauma courses.
Students are being asked to consider the following two questions about this film:
1) Reflect upon the potentially corrosive power of silencing, and the potentially liberating affect of being able to name one’s own reality.
Ideas might include:
– What factors impede the naming of one’s reality?
– What’s at stake when one cannot name their own reality?
– And how can we as social workers work towards creating a more just environment that better allows individuals/groups to become the authors of their own narratives?
2) Reflect upon questions Eli wrestles with in the film regarding “what am I”?
Ideas might include:
– What may be some of the challenges one may encounter in knowing who they are, and what might be at the root of these challenges?
Feel free to focus upon Eli’s distinction between the cultures we inherit compared to those which we pass down, or your ideas regarding the meaning behind the title of the film, A
Lot Like You.
I am looking forward to hearing students’ responses to these questions and the film overall. To further enhance the learning process, Eli has graciously offered to engage with students through her blog, responding to their questions and providing additional
information. Without a doubt, this is one of the more exciting learning opportunities.
Thank you Eli for making this happen.
University of New England
Associate Professor School of Social Work