“WHERE ARE YOU FROM?” BUILDING RELATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ACROSS IDENTITY DIFFERENCES
This article provides a framing, from the perspective of a black woman with a multinational (global African) identity, to understand everyday interactions that raise identity questions and dilemmas. The purpose is to propose transformative strategies for peoples of color, and new immigrants or refugees to the West, when faced with triggering interactions about their identities. It also provides insights to members of dominant social groups into
the impact on socially-classified less dominant groups of the questions they may ask, without having sufficient context, about national origin or place of birth. My hope is to build conscious awareness of strategies for ‘Relational Intelligence’ when engaging across identity differences. I define ‘Relational Intelligence’ as an understanding of the impact of interactional choices made during interpersonal encounters across identity differences.