This activity provides a way for groups to connect with others who share their identities and collectively reflect on how these identities shape the work we do. This activity is best suited for groups with at least 20 people and can be used for larger groups as well.
1. Introduction: Explain the purpose of the activity, and inform participants of the number of rounds you will have them engage in (we recommend 4-5 at most). Explain that when a round is announced, it is up to individuals to decide how to organize into groups. There is no right or wrong answer.
2. Identity Rounds: As the facilitator, you should pre-determine the identity categories for each round. We recommend starting with less sensitive areas of identity (ex. Birth order) and moving toward more sensitive ones (race, gender, etc). Categories can be adapted to fit the group’s purpose, helping to surface non-discussables and/or to reflect particular demographic variables. Once you announce the category for a round, encourage participants to self-organize into groups and have a brief discussion about the impact of this particular identity on their work. We recommend groups to not exceed 5-6 people. For larger groups, ask participants to sub-divide into smaller groups to enhance their ability to share and talk. Categories might include:
- Where you are from
- The kind of high school you went to
- Birth order
- The kind of student of math student you are
- Your gender
- Your ethnicity
- Your language background
3. Share Out: At the end of each round, invite each group to report out on the big ideas, themes, or questions featured in their discussion.
4. Re-Group: Announce a new category, and have participants re-form their groups based on this new identifier. Repeat for 3-5 rounds.
5. Whole Group Debrief: Invite participants to discuss any feelings that emerged during the activity, along with any insights about the meaning and impact of diversity on their professional experience. If the group is still warming out, you can ask them to turn and talk to a partner before opening the whole group reflection.