Multicultural student advisor.: Becoming Minnesotan

Dr. Maryam Beltran Shapland, Emergency Physician at Woodwinds Hospital, Woodbury
  • Name - Maryam Beltran Shapland
  • Age at interview - 34
  • Gender - Female
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 01.25.2011
  • Maryam Beltran volunteering in Casa del Nino, an orphanage in Santiago, Chile.

    We Are Here

    Discrimination, Filipino, Work

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    Essential Question

    We Are Here: What does it mean to this immigrant group to be here in America?

    Contributions: How is America better off because of this group of immigrants?

    Words to look for

    Background Information

    Prejudices and racism are challenging problems faced by new immigrants as well as members of many other minority groups. Sometimes the prejudice they face may be subtle; others may be judging them using stereotypes or making conclusions based on appearance and not even be aware they are doing it themselves. Schools have sometimes made a point to try to prevent problems and increase the sensitivity of their staff through training, workshops, and staff liaisons who can work out issues between minority students and staffers.

    To learn more about Filipino history and culture, visit our Filipino Community page.

    • Chapter 1

    Download Maryam Shapland 12
    1:47 Minutes | 1.73Mb


    Narrator: Maryam Shapland (MS)

    MS: What I actually became for a year was the multicultural student advisor for the Anoka-Hennepin School District. For a year. It was a great experience. It was a very stressful, but eye-opening experience. It really opened me up to racism. What I did was I, essentially, was the multicultural liaison for all the schools in Blaine, so from elementary to high school. So I formed diversity groups in the high school and spoke to people about diversity. We held diversity workshops along with the other multicultural advisors for every city. I also went into elementary schools and had one-on-one meetings with the very few - at the time, very few - multicultural students there. They would tell me things like, “My teacher said the N-word today.” Or they’d say, “My teacher called me ‘Oriental.’ I’m not Oriental. I’m Chinese-American.” What I would have to do is I would actually have to confront these teachers and talk to them about diversity. I was a young, twenty-two-year-old lady. I really had to become assertive and really become headstrong and know that I was in the right place and that I was doing the right thing. Because I met a lot of resistance, as you might imagine.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun:  The quality of being diverse or different; difference or unlikeness; variety.


    Noun: A person who establishes and maintains communication and cooperation between different groups.


    Adjective: Relating or pertaining to several different cultures.


    Noun:   The belief that one race is superior to all others; prejudice or discrimination based upon race.


    Noun:  A brief intensive course of education for a small group; emphasizes interaction and practical problem solving.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access].
    nid: 2156