Assignment: Debate (strongly recommended for this activity, but a presentation, or academic essay would also be possible)
An ethnic minority is a group of people from one culture who live in a country where most of the people are from a different culture (in other words, they are the ethnic majority). Ethnic minorities can be found in every country all over the world. An example would be the Ainu people in Japan (for more information on the Ainu, visit http://www.ainu-museum.or.jp/en/).
Split the classroom into two large groups. One group will be the ethnic majority and the other group will be the ethnic minority. You will not choose a country or ethnic group! You will simply be the “minority” and “majority” of an unnamed country.
The ethnic minority group will create ten (10) changes that they want the ethnic majority to make in order for both groups to be equal. Right now, they are not equal in many ways. For example, job promotions, university scholarships, and housing in good neighborhoods are difficult to get for minority members.
The ethnic majoritygroup will have to come up with reasons to oppose each request. Your goal is to protect the ethnic majority’s interests.
20 minutes: Preparation time for each group.
10 minutes: Debate (The ethnic minority group presents one change, followed by a rebuttal by the ethnic majoritygroup. Continue until all changes are presented and challenged).
10 minutes: Classroom discussion. How did you feel being part of each group?
Remember: You are not trying to highlight how unfair ethnic majorities can be to ethnic minorities, or how ethnic minorities can cause issues in society. The goal of this debate is not to fight, argue or “point fingers” (i.e., blame each other for problems you have), but to go through a debate in order to understand both sides of an ethnic group dispute. You don’t have to agree with one or the other—you simply have to gain a better understanding.
Understanding perspectives from other cultures can help us grow as Global Critical Thinkers (GCT) (Velasco, 2018)!