We design and modify workshops to meet the specific needs of your organization. They can vary in length from two hours to a full day and can be tailored for both youth and adults.
If you are interested in hiring us to provide one of these workshops tailored to your needs, please complete our Contact Form.
*For the safety of our community, we are only offering virtual sessions at this time*
This past year has highlighted the devastating impact of individual and systemic racism on the lives of People of Color (PoC) in the United States. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19, anti-Asian racism, the killing of Black people at the hands of the police, the minimization of racism on Indigenous Peoples, the impact of anti-immigration laws on Muslims and Latinx children and families, and the recent violence at our Capitol. It can be difficult to go to work and be expected to pretend as though these things are not happening. Many employees need a space to talk about and process how these and other manifestations of white supremacy are affecting them.
Cultures Connecting has a diverse team of experienced facilitators available to offer Listening Sessions in a virtual platform. We can offer separate spaces for Black staff, PoC staff, and White staff. We see this as an important step an organization can take to demonstrate to their employees that their wellbeing matters. We believe listening is a form of action.
Sessions are approximately 2 hours in length with no more than twenty-five people per group. The smaller the group, the more intimidate and safe the space will feel. If the number of people exceeds twenty, we will likely use breakout groups to provide more time to process.
The first 15 minutes of each group is spent providing context for why we are sharing the space together, followed by a brief overview of norms for engaging in difficult conversations, i.e., speak your truth, experience discomfort, take risks, expect/accept non closure, and no fixing. The rest of the time is spent sharing, listening, and connecting with one another.
Processing will look different for each group.
For PoC: Listening Sessions are an opportunity to be in community with one another where PoC can listen and be heard. Participants are invited to share story and unpack their feelings and thoughts about how what has happened is impacting them. It is a space to be together without the need to justify, explain, or answer questions. The group will process the impact of racism on their lives, discuss what their organization can do to support them, and identify strategies for self-care.
For White people: Listening Sessions are an opportunity to be in community with other Whites where they can openly discuss their concerns about racism they witness, as well as acknowledge their own collusion with racism. Being in the company of other White people as they unpack and discuss racism allows them to do so freely without fear of offending or causing harm to PoC in the process. Together they will explore how they can practice anti-racist allyship skills in the workplace and beyond.
If any themes arise, if requested, we will share this information with you via email. Keep in mind 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 people in the sessions want to share 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 Listening Sessions with staff. Cultures Connecting, can provide leadership Listening Sessions to create a space for them to process and/or consult on ways to support their staff.
Listening Sessions: Creating Space for People to Process
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.