A mountain can be used to represent the complexity of navigating the education system for Latinx families. The mountain is divided into five levels, each representing an identity level of development described by Sue & Sue’s racial identification study (Exhibit Sue). There are two types of flags located on the mountain - blue and red. Blue flags represent opportunities and the red flags represent obstacles. A PNS Scholar is encouraged to respect the mountain, but to strategically move upward. The blue flags are experiences that students are engaged with through the four elements that form the Puede Network compass. The more that the Scholars are engaged with the activities, the more access they will have to checkpoints that will allow them escalate levels. Increasing levels in the mountain means students are discovering their identity, self-value, and ambition to get to the top. A PNS scholar doesn't just carry a compass, they carry a rope, to help others coming behind get to the top with them.
Sue & Sue's Racial / Cultural Identity Development Model
In the conformity stage individuals exhibit a preference for the dominant cultural values over their own cultural values. During this stage, individuals identity with the dominant group and use them as their primary reference group. They tend to downplay and feel negatively about their own cultural group with low salience as part of their identity.
The dissonance stage is marked by an encounter or experience that is inconsistent with culturally held beliefs, attitudes and values from the conformity stage. For instance, a minority individual who is ashamed of their own cultural heritage will encounter someone from their own cultural group who is proud of his or her heritage. In this stage, denial begins to occur and there is a questioning of one's beliefs and attitudes held in the conformity sage. For example, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. caused many African Americans to move rapidly from a passive conformity stage to a dissonance stage.
In the resistance and immersion stage, a minority person is likely to feel anger, guilt and shame at the oppression and racism that they previously put up with. The stage is marked by an endorsement of minority-held views and a rejection of the dominant values of society and culture.
During the introspection stage, the individual devotes more energy toward understanding themselves as part of a minority group and what that means at a deeper level. In contrast to the intense reactivity against dominant culture in the resistance and immersion stage, the introspection stage is more "pro-active" in defining and discovering the sense of self.
The integrative awareness stage includes as sense of security and the ability to appreciate positive aspects of both their own culture and the dominant culture. Individuals in this stage have resolved conflicts experienced in earlier stages and have more of sense of control and flexibility with the ability to recognize the pros and cons of both cultural groups wile still trying to eliminate all forms of oppression.