When the "other" becomes a mirror: Reflecting on why sensitivity training assumes international development workers are white

Development organizations need to recognize privilege, but also the unique experiences of non-white development workers.

Why It Matters

Humanitarian aid and international development organizations are beginning to have important conversations about race, class, and other markers of privilege. But while international development used to be a predominantly white field, the tides are changing, and the historic realities of white development workers are no longer the norm. Racialized development workers deserve support and training that understand their experiences.

Future of Good issued a call for personal essay submissions about racism in social impact work — this piece was submitted in response. This is an expanded reflection on the experiences shared in “At The Nexus Of Belonging And ‘Othering’: Reflections From A Racialized International Development Worker

Before being deployed to the field, it is standard for international development workers to receive training and orientation to their deployment. Typically included in this training is education on understanding social location as an international development w

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