Friday, August 05, 2022

Cultural Navigation - Highlandtown, Baltimore

Ember was honored to partner with Redemption City Church and The Salaam Center to walk a student service team through a cultural navigation exercise in a few neighborhoods in Baltimore earlier this week. Although we've done a ton of these, this was our first one since the pandemic and it felt good to help with something like this again. 

Of course, lots has changed since the last time we ran one of these. Like a coach I heard say a few months ago, "Pay attention to what you pay attention to." Some adjustments since the last time we ran one of these: 
+ We firmly mentioned that we were from the suburbs and were not the experts about Baltimore. Related: "Walk with humility. Remember, you are showing up late to a meeting. God has been at work among these people long before you arrived!" - Tim Dearborn, The Short Term Missions Workbook. 
+ On the topic of urban populations without homes, we should be at least mentioning mental health and trauma informed care. 
+ The Pagoda at Patterson Park has been renamed to be more culturally appropriate. An appropriate symbol. 

If you are making plans for 2023, make sure to schedule team preparation. It is one of two silver bullets for your investment in your cross cultural experiences [the other one being decompression.]