Let’s Get Real: Conversations about Race

iChange Collaborative - We offer inclusivity consulting and training workshops to businesses, schools, community organizations, and government agencies.

 

Cultural critic bell hooks says conversation is the revolutionary way of learning. Grace Lee Boggs unequivocally states that conversation IS activism. When we gather in community to offer our authentic thoughts in public discourse, our conversations chart a course toward justice. Equitable conversations challenge the rules of dominant culture by restructuring discourse and redistributing power. The foundations of equity lie in mastering the art of authentic conversation.

Over the course of our year-long programs, educators gain understanding of the sometimes-invisible impact of race on personal, professional, and systemic levels. Greater understanding translates into stronger relationships, more inclusive school communities, and greater capacity to impact change. Each 90-minute module delivers communication guidelines, key concepts, experiential activities, and interpersonal conversations. Concept integration is fostered over time through social-emotional and cognitive approaches.

Module Descriptions

Module 1: The Diversity Imperative

Addressing persistent inequalities along racial lines is the central issue of our time. Rapidly changing social dynamics make the need for a culturally competent teaching force more urgent than ever. This interactive module centers key concepts in diversity, equity and inclusion education. Through equitable conversations, participants explore the impact of their own race identities on their students and learn how power dynamics entitle or disempower identity groups.

Module 2: How Race Identity Impacts Teaching and Learning

Educators acquire foundational concepts in racial identity formation, patterns of differences in race-based experiences, and common dynamics in conversations about race. Building on our equitable conversations model, participants explore how racial issues manifest in the schools through compliance with unexamined cultural norms. They acquire tools to recognize and challenge systemic racism. Through self-reflection and interactive experiences, they learn more about the effects of racism and the persistence of resilience.

Module 3: Disrupting Bias

Module 3 revisits the concepts of implicit, explicit, and institutional bias. Participants explore how racial identities are formed, including the role of social conditioning, misinformation and trust. They explore how racial issues manifest in schools and acquire relationship-based tools they can use to develop cultural intelligence and build inclusivity skills.

Module 4: Addressing Problematic Comments and Situations

Educators can model and teach appropriate ways to interrupt racist comments and respond to problematic situations. This module covers real world issues educators encounter and explores how they can respond to students with compassion, support and guidance. From personal accountability to policy and procedure, educators must learn to protect students of color from harm.

Module 5: Cultivating Allies, Accomplices, and Allies

Module 5 focuses on the foundational relationships necessary to create and sustain a movement for racial transformation in schools. Participants explore the importance of both strong affinity and strong ally relationships in networks of race change agents. They learn the value of long- term strategic mindsets in sustaining purposeful, productive partnerships.

Module 6: Leading Transformational Change

Change leadership means knowing who you are and what you believe in. Leadership is defined by a position in the hierarchy, but by the realization of purpose. Change agents lead by example and their passion for justice attracts followers.  In this module, participants investigate how aspects of their own racial identities impact their professional relationships. They explore their vision for change and learn to lead with strong, powerful voices. They connect passion to purpose and emerge with ideas for bold innovation.

Immunity to Change Peer Cohorts (Optional Practicum)

Problems like unconscious racial bias can’t be solved by simply acquiring information. Transformational change requires a deeper practice of self and social inquiry. Participants learn to “uncover” unconscious bias through a process of questioning that reveals hidden assumptions that may be limiting their capacity to change and grow. By exploring the impact of social conditioning on racial identity formation, they discover how to move beyond limiting assumptions and achieve positive change.

This optional practicum to the Let’s Get Real Conversations about Race series can be added between Module 3 and 4. It involves:

  • One 2-hour introductory session to the Immunity to Change Process

  • Four 1-hour small (4 member) group meetings

  • One 2-hour concluding session to integrate insights.

Conclusion

The Let’s Get Real: Conversations about Race builds supportive alliances across difference and lays the groundwork for developing critically strategic mindsets in educators. We envision a school community in which the people most impacted by racism are not only sitting at the table but welcomed and empowered to lead the way toward equitable change.

 

 

The iChange Institute was the most moving experience of my fifteen year life in America. Thanks you for your great work and nonjudging atmosphere. I am looking forward to sharing what I learned with my colleagues and students.

 
Teacher
Rabun Gap Nacoochee School
 
© 2020 • iChange Collaborative
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