Cherry Wong

Inside Out

Team member: Cherry Wong (Community Capacity Building Certificate, SFU)

Inside Out, which symbolizes “understanding one’s emotions from within”, is a project that aims to promote healthy communication and relationship building through introducing social and emotional learning (SEL) practices. In collaboration with South Vancouver Neighbourhood House, the project offers interesting and interactive workshops to the racially, linguistically, and culturally diverse population in South Vancouver, living on the unceded, ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

South Vancouver is a highly racialized neighbourhood, where 80% of the residents self-identify as visible minorities. Many newcomers settle in this area when they first arrive in Vancouver. As these residents navigate the diverse and multicultural society of Canada, it is essential to equip them with the skills to notice, understand, manage, and express their emotions in a healthy way. These skills are applicable to intrapersonal and interpersonal communication and help create harmonious and respectful communities.

According to Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), SEL allows people to “develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions”. Our workshop design is based on SEL and anti-racism frameworks, and workshop participants will be invited to explore the role of emotions, acquire conflict management skills, and practice healthy emotional expression, active listening, and empathy. The goal of the project is to empower participants to be responsive instead of reactive when expressing themselves and communicating with others. SEL may not have the power to change what life throws at us, but it allows us to make more informed decisions with confidence and grace.