Will I be able to understand my mentee?: Examining the potential risk of the dominant culture mentoring marginalized youth

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 4.53.54 PMEditor’s Note This is a very thoughtful piece by Jennifer Lindwall, the Director of Training and Quality Assurance at the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota since February 2013. The article appeared in a collection, Moving Youth Work Practice Forward:  Reflections on Autonomy and Authority. Jen’s piece touches on some of the thorny issues in youth mentoring that are rarely discussed but which, if not handled with care, can derail a mentoring relationship. 

By Jennifer Lindwall

“Will I be able to understand her?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“My mentee, will I be able to understand her? Last time I was a mentor and had a little African
American girl, sometimes when she talked I couldn’t understand what she was saying.”

Read the entire article here.