Below are descriptions of virtual sessions we can provide for your organization during this time.
If you are interested in hiring us to provide one of these workshops tailored to your needs, please complete our Contact Form.
Listening Sessions: Creating Space for People to Process
Many employees need a space to process a variety of emotions around all that is happening in response to police violence against Black people and the resulting protests. Cultures Connecting has a diverse team of experienced facilitators available to offer Listening Sessions in a virtual platform, including two Black facilitators, one Asian American, and one White. We can offer separate spaces for Black staff, PoC staff, and White staff. We see this as a first step in responding to the uprising for Black Lives.
Sessions are approximately 2 hours in length with no more than 20 people per group.
We recommend two sessions for Black participants. One to process, and a second session to continue processing with time to discuss what support would be helpful from leadership, White allies, and PoC’s.
The first 20 minutes with each group are spent providing context for why we are sharing the space together by naming the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others, and the impact it is having on each of us. Norms for engaging in difficult conversations are included during this time i.e., speak your truth, experience discomfort, take risks, expect/accept non closure, and no fixing. The remainder of the time will be spent on processing. Processing will look different for each group. See below. If the number of people in each group exceeds twenty people, we will likely use breakout sessions to provide more time to process.
For Black people, Listening Sessions are an opportunity to be in community with one another where they can both listen and be heard. Participants are invited to share story and unpack their feelings, thoughts, and ways what has happened is impacting them. It is an opportunity to be in community with other Blacks people who understand or share their pain and grief, and where they will not feel a need to justify, explain, or answer questions.
For PoC, participating in a Listening Session is an opportunity to be in community with other PoC and acknowledge that they too experience racism. It will provide them an opportunity to reflect on what is being triggered in them because of their own experiences and connect to the pain of Black people. PoC will be invited to examine their feelings about what is happening. Together they will explore ways they can support Black people.
For White people, Listening Sessions are an opportunity to be in community with other Whites where they can openly discuss any fears, concerns, or worries they may have without fear of offending a PoC in the process. Together they will explore how they can practice anti-racist allyship.
If any themes arise, we will share this information with you via email unless otherwise requested. Keep in mind that these Listening Sessions are meant to be a safe place to process and therefore are confidential. It is up to organizations to decide how to distribute any information provided or what to do with it. Prior to offering Listening Sessions, organizations should also plan for what happens next and convey this to their staff.
We recommend that supervisors, managers, and executive leadership not participate in these sessions. Cultures Connecting, can provide leadership with a Listening Sessions to create a space for them to process and/or consult on ways to support their staff. If you have questions or would like to schedule a Listening Session for your staff feel free to reach out to us.
Caprice D. Hollins, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ilsa Govan email@example.com
Anti-Racist Allyship: What is our Role in the Struggle?
From the disproportionate impact of Covid-19, to anti-Asian racism, to the murder of Black people at the hands of the police, over the past months we have seen once again the devastating impact of individual and systemic racism on the lives of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) in the United States. Many White people who want to be supportive are wondering how we can best show up. This workshop focuses on self-awareness, knowledge of historic and current racism, and skills necessary to be coconspirators in the fight against racism. In this time, it is important we support and challenge one another, rather than burdening BIPOC with the expectation of educating us. Although this session will center on the role of White people in work for racial justice, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are welcome to attend and participate the conversation.
Facilitator, Ilsa Marie Govan, has close to twenty years of experience leading White caucus spaces that are rooted in scholarship and accountable relationships with BIPOC. To find out more about this strategy, you can read her December 2019 article in Diversity Best Practices “Five Ways an Anti-Racist White Caucus Supports Diversity and Inclusion.”
Contact Ilsa if you have questions or would like to schedule this workshop for your team or staff.
Ilsa Govan, firstname.lastname@example.org