To help foster a positive working environment and collaborative spirit in
FISH Hospitality Pantries, we developed Mosaic, our multicultural leaders’ institute.
It is a vehicle for dismantling racism, developing leadership, and building community by sharing stories to help break down barriers. Originally developed for volunteers and pantry guests, many of its components have inspired or been incorporated into our other programs.
Community building begins with bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds around a common vision, but it does not end there. Creating true community requires working to dispel prejudices and misconceptions, build trust, and bridge the divides that hinder communication between people of different cultures. Mosaic focuses on promoting an understanding among our Latino, Black, and White leaders, so that we can all learn from one another.
As they work side by side in the pantry their skills and capacity for working
together increase. Workshops and meetings provide opportunities for reflecting
on their common humanity and sharing aspects of their own cultures. Through
the Mosaic program, participants are equipped with the knowledge, tools, and experience needed to create a culture of openness and true community in each
of our neighborhood pantries. They often go on to create trainings and seminars
for new pantry volunteers. •