Culture Matters

Culture Matters

Renford discusses the importance of culture when decision-makers are making decisions.

On the heels of last week’s Globe and Mail article, featuring Renford and his experience with parole as a Black man, we decided to speak about the importance of having people that are making decisions for us, be people who also understand us.

Just because someone’s skin is the same colour as yours does not mean that they have had the same experiences as you. “While we look different, we also live differently,” says Renford.

“A White-Jamaican person would be able to understand me culturally, even though he’s White, but he understands the Jamaican culture, so my loud speaking…and “are you hearing me” is normal in our culture. It’s not only about the skin colour.”

Effective cultural representation is necessary.

The notion of having a “Cultural Mediator” at a Parole hearing, in the Courts, at schools and even in HR, is discussed using the parallel of a language translator; why should cultural representation be any different?


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