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 adaptation strategies for fish out of water, as well as those who work with them. Included are:
About the Authors
Tools of code-switching—an important survival mechanism for managing the dynamics of difference
Compelling portraits of those who have learned to survive and thrive in schools and other organizations
Strategies for working with children who are targeted because they are different
Kikanza Nuri-Robins helps people to close the gap between what they say they are and what they actually do. Whether she is in a corporate boardroom, the fireside room of a retreat center, or a convention center auditorium, Kikanza uses her skills and insights to help people and organizations that are in transition – or ought to be. She shares her observations and recommendations with clarity and candor, while gently encouraging them to face the difficult situations that challenge their skill sets and their values. She leads people to this growing edge with unswerving focus, an understanding heart, and laughter that rises from the seat of her soul.
Since 1978, Kikanza has worked as an organizational development consultant in a variety of settings including education, health care, criminal justice, and religion, focusing on leadership development, change management, and cultural proficiency. Her clients range from school districts, to university faculty, to government offices and non-profit organizations. The connecting thread is her passion for working with people who want to making a difference for others.
Kikanza studied at Occidental College, the University of Southern California, and the San Francisco Theological Seminary. She is the author of many articles and five books, including: Cultural Proficiency and Culturally Proficient Responses to the LGBT Communities. Kikanza lives in Los Angeles where she spends her discretionary time as a textile artist.
Lewis Bundy has spent his career working for social justice. He has been a teacher, an administrator, a community organizer and a desegregation consultant. As an organization development consultant, he has provided training and technical assistance to a number of educational and non-profit agencies. Beginning his career as a middle school teacher in East Palo Alto, his focus has been on helping teens and young adults develop the skills to become highly functioning citizens, and helping the adults who work with them to respond appropriately to their needs.
Lewis retired from higher education having served as Director of Student Services at Argosy University in Alameda, California and Assistant Vice President for Student Services at Alliant International University, following a long successful tenure as Director of Academic Services at San Jose State University. His experiences also include: Director of Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and oversight of TRIO programs, Program Manager for a School Desegregation Assistance Center at Far West Regional Laboratory, Mental Health Association administration and board member for various community organizations.
Lewis received a BA from Occidental College, MA in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University and pursued additional graduate studies at UCLA. He and his wife live in Oakland, CA, where he is the father of four amazing women and four extraordinary grandchildren. He spends most of his discretionary time with his family or in his shed, and plays golf whenever, and wherever, he can.
"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
"Fish Out of Water 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
"Every educator and every employer works with those who just don't fit in. This work provides strategies to help the "Fish out of Water" swim more successfully in your workplace or school environment." -- David G. Daniels, High School Principal
"Fish Out of Water is the filling of a void on the discussion about diversity valuing and appreciation. This books could be another link in the growth for many people in our country - both in dominant and minority cultures, personal and professional." -- Vera Blake, Educational Consultant
"I admire Nuri-Robins & Bundy for writing about a difficult topic without placing blame on one party or another for the problem. The solution-based approach gets past the anger and frustration of why the problem exists in the first place and moves the reader toward actions that can alleviate the problem." -- Kathy Tritz-Rhodes, Principal
"Nuri-Robins & Bundy offer a unique approach to the topic of cultural diversity, pairing storytelling with helpful tools." -- Bonnie Tryon, Retired Principal & Past President