Are there differences between culture, ethnicity and race?

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Are there differences between culture, ethnicity and race?

Culture, ethnicity and race are terms that we often confuse and think mean the same thing, but they are actually different. Culture is something we're taught by other human beings. That's how we learn culture, and generally speaking by elders. People who are older than us, that are passing something down, generation to generation. Ethnicity has to do with nationality. Where we come from, so I might be .. someone is Asian, but their different ethnicities would be a Korean person, a Chinese person, a Filipino person. All Asian, but different ethnicities. Race is the most loaded term of all. And that's because race is actually not something that's genetic, although we like to think that it is. It's something that has to do with power hierarchies. We've used race in this country to make one set of people have more privilege and power than another. And that's kind of an ugly little truth that we don't like to talk about. But the reality is race matters, and in families where we are more than one race, or raising people of color who've been in targeted groups, we have to learn to talk about this. Or we are not going to be able to learn and help children learn how to feel good about who they are, and understand that they don't have to be victims to racism.

Watch Beth Hall's video on Are there differences between culture, ethnicity and race?...


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Beth Hall

Director, Pact - An Adoption Alliance

Beth Hall is an adoption educator who co-founded Pact, An Adoption Alliance, which is a multicultural adoption organization dedicated to addressing essential issues affecting adopted children of color. Pact offers lifelong support and placement services for birth and adoptive families with adopted kids of color. A national speaker, she is also the author of numerous articles and a book, Inside Transracial Adoption, which is filled with personal stories, practical suggestions, and theory, and delivers the message that race matters; racism is alive; and families built transracially can develop strong and binding ties. In 2010 she received the Outstanding Practitioner in Adoption Award, from the Adoption Initiative at St. John's University. She currently serves as a contributing author and advisory board member for “Adoption Clubhouse,” a project promoting positive identity in transracially adopted children for the Evan B. Donaldson Institute for Adoption and as an Advisory Board Member for the On Your Feet Foundation, dedicated to supporting birth mothers of adopted children.Commitment to family is a way of life for Beth. She is the white adoptive mom of two young adults: Sofia, a Latina, and James, an African American. Beth grew up a member of an adoptive family—her sister, Barbara, was adopted. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and sometimes her adult children, when they are home.

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