Collaboration to Demystify Racism
Originally Published In
Paper presented at the Multidisciplinary Academic Conference on Education, Teaching and E-Learning, Prague.
Racial tension motivates strife and violence in the metropolitan Detroit area. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a collaborative partnership, Cultural Awareness Consortium (CAC), in making a positive impact on the attitudes of a group of diverse high school students regarding multicultural relations. The two theoretical frameworks guiding this study were Allport's intergroup contact theory and intercultural competence theory originating from International Education and International Studies. The research questions concerned whether attending the CAC for 4 months, the treatment, changed students' attitudes on multicultural relations, and whether a student's gender or ethnicity was a predictor of changes in these attitudes. A single group, pre- experimental design with data collection from two administrations of the Student Multicultural Relations Survey was used in the study. Fifty-four students completed the survey, which yielded four multicultural relations scales (dependent variables), eight single-item attitudinal variables on multicultural issues, and two demographic variables (independent variables). Inferential analysis included t tests and multiple regression. According to study results, students' attitudes on multicultural relations had changed significantly, and students talked to and mixed with students from different cultural backgrounds more after the treatment. Educational institutions providing experiences like the CAC can make a positive impact on students' attitudes on multicultural relations. This impact can lead to positive social change as students increase their acceptance of others and take those attitudes and values with them into the workforce after they graduate, serving as role models of acceptance for their peers.