One America Community Efforts
Little Bar

Program: Walk In My Shoes Student Symposium, Santa Ana, CA
Contact(s): Rusty Kennedy, Executive Director: (714)567-7470
Purpose: To foster greater understanding of the problems, solutions and values that result from the increased ethnic diversity in educational institutions

Background Program Operations Outcomes


The Walk In My Shoes Student Symposium began in 1990 under the direction of the Orange County Human Relations Council. The symposium is a forum consisting of student panelists, workshops and motivational speakers that build inter-ethnic understanding in school settings.

Program Operations

On average 8 students and 2 teachers from each of the schools within a district attend a one-day race/ethnicity training session. Each time, about 500 high school and 350 middle school students and teachers attend a day-long workshop on race relations. The event is typically held at the University of California, Irvine. The morning session features an opening motivational speaker, followed by various thematic workshops. Some of the previous themes addressed during the workshops have been interracial dating, how to create an on-campus inter-ethnic program, building self-esteem and interactive theater. Student panelists then discuss the topic of race, and how they work through situations dealing with race. The afternoon session begins with lunch and a poster campaign that address stereotypes. Students learn about programs that promote intergroup understanding and tolerance, and reassess their behaviors and attitudes towards others who are perceived to be different.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

About 850 students a year participate in the symposium.

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