Transformational Conversations: Moving from Fear to Curiosity
90-120 minute workshop
Because dominant white culture encourages us to avoid conflict, many of us raised in it have not fully developed the insight, skill, and emotional stamina necessary to broach and navigate differences of perspective and opinion, especially when harm to a member of a marginalized group is part of the mix. Too often these conversations are completely avoided or broached only to go from bad to worse, leaving people in divided camps teeming with assumption and anger that further divides us and wreaks havoc on our communities. There is a different way. In contrast to the social norms of whiteness are norms designed to develop the vulnerability, skill, and courage necessary to create deep connection and resilience; ways of being that sustain and grow us personally and collectively. This workshop will explore how to embed new, transformational norms into our personal and institutional practices.
Leveling the Playing Field: Interrupting Patterns of Power and Privilege
Alternate title: How to Explain White Privilege to a Skeptic
2 hour workshop, cannot be shortened but we welcome lengthening for more reflection and discussion time.
Using a series of pointed questions, Debby works with participants to build a graphic map of the groups people belong, and have belonged to, because of social locations and roles throughout U.S. history. Participants will think together about how various groups have and have not had access to rights, resources, representation, and respect, ultimately revealing the social positioning and impacts of white privilege and dispelling illusions of a level playing field. Once the graphic has been created, Debby then leads participants in an exploration of social dynamics and dominant cultural attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate power and privilege patterns, even when best intentions are in play. Ultimately this workshop explores how we can begin to level the playing field by interrupting common patterns of power and privilege. Participants will leave with two powerful tools to analyze power dynamics and cultivate transformative cultures in their circles of influence. This workshop is highly interactive and works for groups as small as 10 and as large as 150, as well as those new to the topic and those deeply versed in it.