Close Your Eyes to Look Beyond Stereotypes
“Biases and stereotypes often cause friction between socio-ethnic groups on campus and prevent people from these different groups to seek friendships, conversations and mentorship,” says Melton Fellow Akshath Karanam about his experience at BMS Campus in Bangalore, India. Feeling strongly passionate about countering stereotypes and building trust, Akshath together with Melton Fellow Tito Magero designed an activity called Blindfolded Conversations and implemented it with participants during the conference Samagra 2017.
Participants were blindfolded and paired with people they didn't know. They then had to answer predesigned questions. The activity was a huge success as people conveyed their thoughts and opinions without the fear of being judged. Akshaths biggest take-away is the necessity of framing the questions right. ”We did not want to make people uncomfortable with the questions, yet we had to make the questions deep enough for them to introspect and talk about.”
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