Cultural Appropriation

or Cultural Sharing

where do we draw the line? and who draws it?

This workshop provides definitions, historical and cultural information, and examines the complexities and opportunities for exploitation and oppression of non-dominant cultures by even well-meaning people. The focus is on both cultural and spiritual appropriation of communities and cultures of color.

Questions and conflicts surface when people from the dominant, white culture seek to share, use, participate in, or purchase music, crafts, symbols, dance, his / her stories, spirituality, rituals, healing and traditions of traditionally oppressed and disenfranchised cultures of color.

How do we decide which symbols or objects or music can be shared with respect for the culture of origin?

Which should remain sacred or unique to that culture?

Who decides?

Can we learn from other cultures, sharing the cultural gifts, without appropriating them?

Suggested Objectives

  • To clarify the historical, political and social context for racism in the United States
  • To probe the reality and daily experience of personal and institutional racism, white privilege and internalized racism
  • To analyze the personal, institutional and cultural manifestations of racism, and how they relate to cultural appropriation
  • To distinguish, using examples, between “sharing” and “cultural and spiritual appropriation”
  • To explore future actions that are respectful and anti-racist


Our trainers will work with you to determine the particular focus and content for your workshop, based on your group’s goals, geographic area, and specific concerns. Contact us to discuss your needs and questions.

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