Knowledge, skills and perspectives to challenge oppression and create spaces for empowered inclusion
This training will help you to learn the know-how of building more inclusive and empowering environments for activism and social change work. We will share tools and practices that aim into reducing discrimination based on race, gender, psychosexual orientation, economic status, disability, age, ethnicity or religion.
Systems of oppression often sustain themselves when we are unable to acknowledge and work well with the power dynamics, privileges and mechanisms of discrimination that exist in our groups, communities and societies. In anti-oppression training we carefully unravel those structures, gradually building a safe ground that can support us to explore these challenging themes step by step. Although the training content and process will address a wide range of discrimination and oppression structures, the main emphasis will be on how we can work with the dynamics that exist in smaller groups.
Applying foundational knowledge, frameworks and concepts used in anti-oppression work, participants will be invited to explore ways to deal with discrimination and oppression at the individual, organizational and systemic levels. Part of this work will be connected to identifying interdependence and interconnectedness through the lens of the intersectionality of struggles, learning how discrimination often intersects in complex ways (e.g. gender – race – – age – economic status).
We will encourage participants to step out beyond shaming and blaming strategies, and to reflect on the personal capacities and boundaries that grow out of the unique experience of our own conditioning. The focus will be on identifying ways of empowering people with experience of oppression in order to be able to build more sustainable social movements, as well as reflecting on the links between anti-oppression approach and solidarity practices.
Like all the other Ulex courses, this one will be held in the rural setting of the pre-Pyrenean mountains, enabling us to integrate some nature connection and awareness practices, working with body and mind. Those practices will help us to be more present in our training experience as well as providing the inspiration to look at our activism in a more holistic way.
The three facilitators will bring different approaches to anti-oppression work, coming from diverse cultural, activist and organisational backgrounds. Read more about them below.
Kinga is an anti-oppression facilitator connected to the Anti-discrimination Education Association (TEA) in Poland, for nearly two decades active in prevention of discrimination in the formal and nonformal education. Involved in many national and international projects she has been working with youth workers, teachers, school psychologists and pedagogues on issues connected to gender and sexuality (e.g. combating trans- and homophobia, supporting nonheteronormative kids and their parents). Also working as a sex educator with teenagers and a WenDo trainer – a self-defence and assertiveness method for women, girls and trans* people. In recent years focused mostly on empowering people from discriminated groups through working with body, voice and self reflection on internalized oppressions.
Kyle Sawyer (they/he) is an anti-oppression facilitator and educator specializing in working with individuals and organizations on how to turn privilege into change. He is a trans, queer, mixed-race, white-passing individual. With over a decade of experience Kyle founded Building Allies in 2013 and developed the term Active-Ally, someone who witnesses injustice and responds to it in any situation. Kyle has worked with teachers, nonprofit organizations, students, therapists, social workers, community members, family members, and many others on learning how to be Active-Allies through an intersectional lens.
Sheila has been involved in activism and campaigning for social change for about a decade, organising and facilitating with grassroots groups and NGOs, primarily in the UK climate movement. In the lead up to COP21, in 2015, she was part of forming a European network mobilising for grassroots action on climate justice. In more recent years she has been more focussed on developing anti-oppression training, to support the need for greater intersectional thinking in all movements in order to not recreate systemic racism and social inequality. After a year working in the Ulex core team, Sheila is now leading a project to build capacity to support training for BIPoC activists, and to develop a Ulex training programme exclusively for BIPoC participants.
skills, insights, and practices for creating transformative teams and effective collaborations
new stories to change the world
Agency, theory and strategy - a deep inquiry
1. A thorny-evergreen flowering shrub, with a high capacity for regeneration and resilience. Its seedpods open in contact with fire and it reshoots from charred stumps. A successionary plant that grows well under challenging conditions. It improves soil fertility through nitrogen fixing, preparing the way for renewed biodiversity.
2. A traditional choice for igniting fires. Burns hot and bright.
3. A networked project adding nutrition and fertility to European social movements through training and capacity building. It kindles the realisation of social justice, ecological intelligence, and cognitive vitality.