As part of the Kenya Scouts Association 10 th National Youth Forum, I delivered an impassioned Keynote Address titled, “Embracing Your Power:
Maximizing Your Gifts as a Global Youth Leader”. Additionally, I facilitated a 1-hour intercultural and interfaith dialogue session for the diverse group of Youth Forum attendees.
During the interfaith and intercultural dialogue session I convened all 40 youth participants in a circle that would allow us to share our perspectives on cross-cultural issues in a comfortable space. I pre-prepared prompts aligned with topics such as intra-cultural prejudice, religious polarization, and the challenges of global youth leadership. One by one participants took turns coming to the center of the circle to select a question or topic from our “hat of inclusivity”. Once the question was selected the participant was encouraged to share their response and perspective as openly and honestly, as possible, even if it made them uncomfortable.
The objective of this activity was not only inspire the youth participants to think deeply about their innate biases, but also challenge them to eradicate such thoughts and behaviors. In this particular context, participants heavily focused on intra-cultural challenges that are prevalent across Kenya’s 42
tribal ethnic groups. The obstacle that was most apparent was that the thinking was almost solely focused on intra-cultural misperceptions, with few participants thinking about intercultural experiences. However, the issue of religious discrimination was addressed and certainly struck a chord with many in attendance.