Critical Conversations

Youth reflect on the lessons they have learned through building cultural competence in this unit. They identify an adult they trust to have critical, or difficult, conversations. 

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

Youth reflect on culture and identify an adult with whom they can have a difficult conversation.


index cards

Home Connection: 

Encourage youth to talk to their grownups about any of the previously taught concepts that they have more questions about.


Talking Gets Us There” by Amanda Gorman

  1. Anticipatory Set: Present the slide show you created of all they have learned and covered in this unit.

    Looking over the topics from this unit, invite the youth to share their understanding of cultural competence and identify which cultural competence topics were already familiar to them, and which were new and interesting. 

  2. Ask the group if any topics were challenging or confusing. Make sure to discuss these with the youth if any topics come up. 

  3. Show the video, “Talking Gets Us There.”

  4. Discuss with the group that cultural competence requires a willingness to learn, and learning sometimes requires difficult conversations. It is important to identify who in their lives can help them have difficult conversations.

  5. Ask each young person to identify, and write on an index card, who in their lives is a trusted adult with whom they can have difficult conversations.

  6. If able, the facilitator could reach out to the adults identified to let them know that a young person sees them as a trusted adult capable of leading them through tricky topics. This is also an opportunity to share with those adults the slideshow of topics covered by the group.

  7. Giving back to the community: Many young people don’t have a safe space or grownup to learn and talk about new ideas. Have the group brainstorm ways to create those safe spaces - or train trusted adults - so that every youth can learn new, difficult things. 


In what ways do difficult conversations help grow our cultural competence? What does a world look like without difficult conversations?