ATLANTAEvery member of the racially diverse Pryor Road postal station's staff was required to attend a multiculturalism-sensitivity seminar Monday.
"Basically, we addressed key dimensions of diversity and ethnicity that federal employees might encounter," Prism Diversity consultant Brian Leukwick said. "My goal was to reach participants both emotionally and intellectually, while helping them uncover their unwitting preconceived notions about other cultures. The group didn't seem as curious about what I had to say as the staffs in Homerville and Folkston, but I think it went all right."
The workshop was divided into three segments. During the first, Leukwick spoke about himself and how he came to recognize his own hidden biases as a white male.
Mail sorter Juanita Nunez was asked for her opinion of Leukwick's opening remarks.
"Monday my computer was down for two hours," Nunez said. "It was the third time this week, and our sorting unit is still on the fritz four days after it was reported to Central. I'm sorry, did you say you have something you needed to mail?"
The seminar included two video presentations: "A Wider Net Captures Bigger Fish" and "Who Should Be Sitting Next To You?" The videos were followed by a series of guided exercises designed to help participants understand the value of diversity.
"We spent half an hour coming up with phrases that might confuse people who didn't grow up speaking English," Jason Nguyen said. "I didn't grow up speaking English. Here is a phrase that confuses me: 'Why is the front wheelbase on our jeeps narrower than the fucking rear one so we fucking get stuck in the mud every two fucking days?' Management should have a seminar to discuss that."