Workshop Facilitation

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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, ilsa.govan@culturesconnecting.com.

Advanced Microaggressions: Guiding Staff Through Cross Cultural Conflict

In this workshop supervisors and managers will develop their skills for engaging across culture when tension exists between themselves and their staff.  Together we will explore in detail Intent vs. Impact, how implicit bias can affect their decision making in determining outcomes and unpack dynamics between employees when conflict exists.  Participants will learn how best to approach tense situations through vignettes, role playing, video, and small and large group discussion.

Anti-Racist Leadership

As more people recognize the need for deep structural changes to address institutional racism in organizations, leaders will benefit by further developing their skills to serve as role models and ambassadors for this work. In this workshop we will explore ten qualities of anti-racist leadership and strategies for further developing culturally responsive leadership practices. Participants are invited to reflect on their strengths and areas for growth and bring challenges they have encountered to discuss in small and large groups.

Cultural Cues for Working with African Americans: Everything You Want to Know but Were Afraid to Ask

When we understand differences, we can embrace them, letting go of the anxiety and discomfort that commonly occurs when interacting with groups we have little experience or exposure to.  This session provides knowledge of group cultural norms, values, beliefs and behaviors as well as strategies to effectively work with African American students, families and colleagues.  Strategies on how to strengthen your relationships with African Americans are discussed to assist participants in developing effective approaches to working successfully across cultures.

 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. 

From Belief to Action: Culturally Responsive Classroom Practice

Based on a foundation of awareness of self and knowledge of others, this workshop focuses on specific ways educators can apply cross-cultural skills in their classrooms. Participants will learn about classroom-tested curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and language arts that connects to the lives of all learners.

Hiring and Retaining a Diverse Workforce

It’s no secret to those of us living in the northwest that there are multiple challenges to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. However, that doesn’t mean there are not people of color available who are qualified for the job. One common barrier faced is how to increase your applicant pool of color. In this workshop, participants will learn strategies for creating an equitable process that brings in more candidates of color and ways to retain them once they are hired. We will look at effective language for creating a culturally responsive job description, strategies for advertising, ways to develop culturally competent interview questions and more.

Internalized Sexism and White Privilege: A Workshop for White Women

While white women struggle with experiences of gender oppression, we also benefit from white privilege. In what ways do these two phenomena work together to create misunderstandings, missed collaborations, and acts of supremacy? In this workshop, we will use a model to examine how our identities develop as we grow in our understanding of personal and institutional oppression. We will use "Theater of the Oppressed" and other interactive strategies to take a deep look at learned patterns of behavior and strategies to better collaborate in work for social justice.

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 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.

 

Contact Richard if you have questions or would like to schedule this workshop for your team or staff. 

Richard Kim, richard.kim@culturesconnecting.com

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.

Recommitment and Renewal: Uprooting Internalized Racism

This workshop provides the opportunity for people of color who are actively engaged in racial justice work to come together to work deeply on their own issues of internalized racism. Participants will develop a deeper understanding of the impact of oppression and racism on self and others and work towards healing their own wounds as well as aid in healing the racial divide.

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.

Train the Trainer: Strategies for Facilitating Conversations About Race

Participants in this session will learn tips and techniques on how to present sensitive information to a wide audience of learners, gain knowledge of pitfalls, and practice strategies that will help them become effective presenters of equity and race related topics.

Unpacking White Privilege in the Workplace

Racism is among the most charged issues facing us today, effecting all members of society. Yet most forums that address race focus on the racially “different”, leaving White perspectives, experiences and identity normalized and unexplored. Through lecture, discussion and experiential exercises we will shift the focus and provide an opportunity for participants to reflect on what it means to be White within a society that is racially stratified. We will then discuss common ways that privilege manifests itself on an institutional and personal level and how it influences relationships within and across cultures.

Working with Immigrant Communities

Foreign born communities are an essential part of American life and often face many challenges when adjusting to life in a new culture. Immigrant communities also face discrimination and bigotry in the racialized culture of the United States. This workshop is designed to utilize an equity lens to help participants better engage and serve immigrant communities by looking at different factors related to human migration, growing a capacity to anticipate some core challenges immigrants communities typically face, and offer skills to improve cross-cultural communication with immigrant communities.