What do you do when you’re the one who doesn’t fit in? “Fish out of water“ are those who don’t fit in the mainstream culture, often due to sexual orientation, gender identity, ableness, income level, or ethnicity. This book focuses on survival and adaptation strategies for fish out of water as well as those who teach, supervise, and collaborate with them. . Included are:  • Tools of code-switching—an important survival mechanism for managing the dynamics of difference—in culturally proficient organizations  • Compelling portraits of fish out of water who have learned to survive and thrive in schools and other organizations  • Strategies for working with children who are targeted and bullied because they are different For everyone who has been or knows how it feels to be a fish out of water, this book helps you flourish where you are and mentor others who are different. “Fish Out of Water is a great resource for navigating ponds that suffocate the marginalized with dominant norms and values. Linking Cultural Proficiency to decoding an environment provides more tools for code switching, code sharing, and conversations about making students and families feel welcomed, included, and safe in our schools.” —Angela Ward, Office of Cultural Proficiency & Inclusion Austin Independent Schools, TX “This book made me think. It is a courageous attempt at the difficult subject of who ‘doesn’t fit’ into the spaces and places we inhabit–and why. But the most valuable part of this book is that it describes what we can do about making our schools, workplaces, and communities more inclusive, and ultimately more effective.” —Nicki King, Reducing Mental Health Disparities Project University of California, Davis

How Fish Out of Water Are Marginalized
How Fish Out of Water Are Marginalized

In every organization, there are systems of oppression and systems of privilege that push people who do not meet or use the norms of the dominant culture to the margins of the group. These systems are usually subtle and are often explained away as inconsequential, because they are the product of unconscious biases.

Fish Out of Water are often new or different. They may be new to the system or approach the work in that system differently than most others. Fish Out of Water may be passionate nuisances, truth tellers, exotics, or visionaries. While often invisible, they see what others don’t see or see what others dismiss as unimportant or inoffensive. They ...

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