For the last five years, Richard Kim (Master of Divinity ‘11) has worked to wrestle with the intersections of identity and race as it pertains to our work at The Seattle School, and to engage the broader desire to see a more just and equitable future for everyone. In this video from Symposia 2016, Richard, Intercultural Credibility Coordinator/Consultant, shares some of the ideas that help frame that work. “By attending to the intersecting categories of culture and identity,” says Richard, “we are better equipped to engage a complex and changing world.”

As Richard explores the features of a dominant culture and what it means to live as an underrepresented person within that culture, he reminds us that our biases—whether acknowledged or unacknowledged—have deep consequences. He also reflects on how easy it is to sacrifice thoughtfulness as we become consumers of culture, consuming not only art and media but also politics and ideologies.

“We internalize what we are most exposed to.”

Richard shares from his own story as he reflects on the different levels of identity and how he has navigated the pressure to measure his identity according to the norms and expectations of the dominant culture. These ideas become even more urgent as Richard considers the experience of becoming a father, and thinking about the world his young son will grow up in.

“We live in serious times, in which we need to be roused to the inequity in our neighborhoods, our schools, our metro areas, our justice systems, our culture. Ending re-segregation is about understanding the way we allow ourselves to stop seeing the humanity of others. It is about learning again to look, and to never stop looking.”

This presentation was filmed at the second annual Symposia: An Intersection of Conversation & Innovation, a forum in which alumni of The Seattle School presented the ongoing work they are pursuing at the intersection of text, soul, and culture. Integrative education does not end at graduation, and Symposia highlights the ways that Seattle School alumni are continuing to wrestle with big questions and big dreams in theology, psychology, and culture. You can see more videos from Symposia 2016 on our Vimeo. We’d love to have you join us for Symposia 2017, “The Art of Resilience,” on October 7.