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The 10C's Model of Awareness and Change



COLOR. In a literal sense, color refers to individual/group identity based on race and/or the color of one’s skin, that is either self-determined or defined by those in power. However, we use this “C” symbolically to also mean aspects of the self/group that are part of one’s core identity or essence – especially attributes that are not changeable, such as color, sex, and sexual orientation. For example, color “just is”, but it is culture and context that define color as “race” and give it either positive or negative value.


CULTURE. The values, beliefs, symbols, behaviors, ways of living, and shared history of a group of people (who may or may not belong to the same ethnic, racial, or gender group), that are continually changing and are passed on from one generation to the next. Culture interprets the meaning of color, class, character, and context.


CLASS. Refers to power relations and examines individual/group identity relative to power, authority, hierarchy, status, and the degree of access to, control over, or ownership of resources, including wealth, education, employment, housing, etc…


CHARACTER. The unique aspects of each individual person including personal preferences, idiosyncrasies, and personality traits. People who share similar color, culture, class, and context, still possess aspects of the self that are unique to the individual.


CONTEXT. The reality in which individuals/groups currently exist based on time, location, environment, and the socio-political, economic, and historical conditions which influence individual and group experience. Color, culture, class, and character cannot be seen in isolation from context and cannot be fully understood when removed from the context that shapes their meaning.




CONFIDENCE. Faith in yourself and your abilities, and the belief that you, alone and with other people, can make a difference. Understanding and taking pride in your “5C’s,” including race, ethnicity, sex, class, and sexual orientation.


COURAGE. The capability to take action, in spite of fear. It means acting as a leader and being willing to take the risks that leadership demands. It is what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the inner resolution to go forward in spite of obstacles and frightening situations.”


COMMITMENT. Focus, strategy, determination, and consistency driven by love, and grounded in knowledge.



CONFLICT. Reflection, struggle, and creative tension that promotes growth and justice. Conflict is a positive and necessary part of the process of change.


COMMUNITY. Working collectively and collaboratively with others towards a shared vision that acknowledges, values, and affirms human diversity as essential to the whole.




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