In a new interview with CMRubinWorld, Diversity/Inclusion expert and Cultural Anthropologist Dr. Michael Baran discusses his interactive web-based program that stimulates productive dialogue on the complex issues surrounding race.
Deepening divides fragment our societies and our economies. How can modern technologies help us to find the common ground and bring us closer together? Interactive Diversity Solutions (IDS) has created a web based program called “Don’t Guess My Race” to support teaching diversity issues. The CEO of IDS, Michael Baran, says the inspiration for the program came from research studies with children in Brazil. In Baran’s studies, he asked children to describe pictures he had taken of people’s faces. What he discovered was that this exercise sparked “extremely rich conversations about sensitive topics.” What if photographs could be used to create an interactive race awareness? In an increasingly interconnected world, race, identity and sexuality are often left undiscussed because for many, these are challenging topics and it’s difficult to find the right “space” to do it in an effective way. Yet it is a critical challenge for which all the world seeks solutions. “We want children to see how the world doesn’t come in bounded natural groups, but that there are spectrums of differences and multiplicities of intersecting identities that overlay this difference,” says Baran.
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About Michael Baran
Michael Baran is a cultural anthropologist with over twenty years experience conducting and organizing ethnographic research for social change on a variety of issues, including race and identity, racial disparities in education, violence against children, healthy housing, environmental health, human services, criminal justice reform, immigration reform, climate change, and early childhood development. He currently consults for businesses, schools and non-profits on issues related to diversity and inclusion, often incorporating the digital tools developed at Interactive Diversity Solutions as part of a blended approach.
About The Global Search for Education
CMRubinWorld’s award-winning series, The Global Search for Education, brings together distinguished thought leaders in education and innovation from around the world to explore the key learning issues faced by most nations. The series has become a highly visible platform for global discourse on 21st century learning, offering a diverse range of innovative ideas which are presented by the series founder, C. M. Rubin, together with the world’s leading thinkers.