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.
Leading as People of Color
People of Color are often immersed in Whiteness in the workplace. Advancing racial equity often requires intentionally and explicitly centering equity over white cultural norms. This session is designed for People of Color to discuss navigating Whiteness in the workplace, reflect on internalized oppression, and connect around strategies to lead change and sustain oneself in the process.
Designed for BIPOC leaders and staff.
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.
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.”
Culturally Competent Leadership
As conversations about diversity are happening more frequently in our organizations, leaders are looking for ways to best address equity and inclusion. Far too often, people are assigned to lead these initiatives because of the position they hold or the racial or ethnic group they identify with, without giving them the tools they need to be successful. In this workshop, we will explore qualities of a culturally competent leader and strategies for cultivating culturally responsive leadership practices.
Foundations of Social Justice
This session helps to develop participants’ cultural competence by:
Providing a framework on how to address issues of equity and race.
Creating common language for entering discourse.
The framework takes a look at deepening awareness of self-moving from color blindness to racial cognizance; increasing knowledge of others and their experiences of racism and oppression; developing skills to work effectively across cultures; and advocating and taking action to initiate change.
Is My Curriculum Biased?
This workshop will train educators to screen curriculum materials for a variety of biases including ageism, sexism, racism, ableism, and heterosexism. Participants will practice using tools for a whole school, university, or district adoption, as well as tools for examining materials in individual classes.
Leading Organizational Change in a Multicultural World
What does an organization look like when cultural competence is institutionalized? What do I do with what I know? What can my actions look like to create culturally relevant systemic change? This workshop is geared towards participants who are committed to social justice but want to learn strategies that can lead to an infrastructure of sustainable change. Participants will learn two critical aspects that lead to successful organizational change:
1) How to strategically plan for a culture of inclusion and respect through equity team work
2) How to build an organizational culture that becomes increasingly comfortable with the discomfort that having courageous conversations creates.
Finally, participants learn a model for multicultural organizational identity development and explore where their organization can prepare them for successes and potential barriers.
Racial/Ethnic Identity Development
Understanding where people are at in their ethnic identity development helps us to appreciate the lens in which they view the world. Our knowledge can be used as a tool to assist us in navigating difficult conversations around race. This workshop looks at the different dynamics related to ethnic identity development specifically between People of Color and European Americans. Participants engage in reflection and conversation to identify stages of their own identity development and how this influences their relationships across cultures. As the presenter discusses the different phases of ethnic identity development that individuals may go through, she shares personal stories and experiences to increase participants’ understanding of ethnic identity development and models the benefits of reflective practice.
Racial Microaggressions & Cross Cultural Communication Skills
When we engage in conversations across cultures, there is always the risk that what we say might offend someone. Oftentimes we don’t even know why what we said was offensive. This interactive workshop is designed to assist participants in increasing their knowledge of microaggressions, or what racism looks like in the 21st century. Participants learn common triggers that push peoples “hot buttons”, identify and understand racial microaggressions in everyday life, and learn strategies to effectively communicate across cultures when racial tensions exist.
Stereotypes, Implicit Bias & Stereotype Threat
Shelly Harrell, Ph.D., states “A stereotype does not necessarily disappear from consciousness when it is successfully challenged. However, it does lose its “power” to influence feelings, attitudes, and behaviors so automatically.” Through video, interactive exercises and storytelling, participants are challenged to examine how unspoken, often unconscious, stereotypes create barriers to genuine relationships and influence our attitudes, behaviors and beliefs about one another. Participants will explore what they can do to effectively counteract stereotype threat using research based on Claude Steele’s work.
Talking with Children and Youth about Race
Recent research has shown that children have very complex understandings of differences and stereotypes. Far from being color-blind, most children are aware of how their own skin color is an advantage or disadvantage. They also judge their peers based on stereotypes that adults might like to believe they are unaware of. Because of this, it is important that children are given anti-bias messages, through actions and words, to actively counter what they are witnessing in the adult world. They also need to learn how to advocate for themselves and others. In this workshop, we explore how children learn and practice racism and privilege and strategies for counteracting bias.
Unpacking White Privilege in the Workplace
When trying to practice multicultural inclusion, too often the focus is on fixing “the other”, that is, staff or clients of color, leaving white perspectives, culture and identity normalized and unexplored. Through storytelling, discussion and experiential exercises we will shift the focus to examine how white cultural norms and privileges can create barriers to equity. By bringing into focus the ways white privilege operates on a personal and institutional level in organizations, we will be able to see how white allies and people of color can work together to reform systems and engage in culturally responsive practices.