My Culture Is Not A Costume


the action of taking something for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission

cultural appropriation: 

the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture


5 Questions to Consider: 

1. To What Ethnic/Racial/Cultural Group Does the Practice or Artifact Belong?

2. How Is the Group that the Practice or Artifact Belongs to Oppressed?

3. Do You Benefit from Doing This? How?

4. Why Might It Make Someone Uncomfortable?

5. What Makes It Possible for You to Engage with this Practice, Tradition, or Material?   
(How did you come to acquire the artifact or elements of the practice?)

5 Simple Questions That’ll Help You Avoid Unintentional Cultural Appropriation by Kim Tran | May 2, 2016 

Images & Information for Reflection

During Halloween, people will often pick articles of clothing or jewelry, makeup styles, or artifacts from harmful and stereotypical depictions of a culture to wear as a costume for one day, without giving thought to the cultural significance of what they are portraying. We do not suggest that the items below are fully representative of any one culture, but they are cultural items that represent and communicate something based on how they are used or worn. These are only a few examples.

The images below name cultural appropriation for what it is. It's not a shock and awe tactic, but an opportunity to grow in our intercultural competence and move our community towards one that embodies cultural humility. 



Additional Resources & Articles: 

Race, Culture Expert Shares History and Why Blackface and Other Cultural Appropriation at Halloween Is Inappropriate 
Advice from Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D.