Teaching with love and commitment
Anderson, Tracy Nicole
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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship and cultural commitments of African American facilitators of prevention science programs to their African American participants. The research questions that guided this study were: 1. What is the impact of the facilitator’s group identity on their teaching? 2. What is the impact of the facilitator’s positionality on their teaching? 3. What is the impact of the facilitator’s worldview on their teaching? Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty-four African American facilitators who were implementing one of two preventive intervention programs. The data revealed two major emergent themes. The first theme was teaching is a commitment to my community. The three primary categories of this theme were families and communities are interdependent and interconnected entities, family and community members have a responsibility to give back to the community, and families and communities are strengthened by a common faith. The second major theme was teaching is a reflection of me and my people. The four primary categories in this theme were: when I see my people, I see myself; when my people see me, they see themselves; teaching my people enriches my life; and I teach my people with honor and respect. There were three major conclusions from this study: (a) the facilitators considered their involvement in implementing the preventive intervention programs as another way to demonstrate their commitment to serving and improving their communities; (b) the facilitators have a sense of resiliency born of their lived experiences as African Americans raised in insulated and protected environments; and (c) the facilitators used their cultural identities to adapt their assigned curricula so that the programs would be more relevant to their African American participants.