Holding space for diversity
Embodying our values in our groups and organisations can involve facing deep challenges in relation to anti-oppression practices and honouring diversity. People facilitating group processes and holding spaces for others need additional support to explore and understand the dynamics involved, and to learn practices and approaches that can help our groups to meet these challenges in ways that are creative and empowering.
In our work with groups, many of us are familiar with the challenges this course seeks to address. What does it really mean to honour diversity? How do we build the understanding we need to integrate anti-oppression practices effectively? And how do we do this in a way that genuinely increases awareness, justice, care and mutual understanding?
This is a training and inquiry for experienced trainers and facilitators. The in-depth 8 day course will provide a space to explore, learn, and deepen awareness and understanding of how to integrate equality, diversity and inclusion into learning and development, including content delivery, the learning and development process at every stage, within the group dynamics and learning climate, and specific facilitation and training approaches designed to support the needs of participants (individually and collectively).
As educators, trainers and facilitators there are a myriad of opportunities to broaden and deepen the awareness, knowledge and understanding of equality diversity and inclusion of the people on our courses and workshops, whether it’s a course with a specific focus on equality diversity and inclusion related topic, or as a thread we can weave into any course or workshop that seeks to build a better world for all. Whatever the topic, a learning and development setting provides the ideal opportunity for strengthening and increasing confidence and capability in promoting equality, enhancing diversity and building inclusive practices and cultures.
An integral Framework for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Development
No single development model, approach or strategy is able to respond alone to support the learning of people in an increasingly diverse world, and the challenges arising from ever increasing inequality and asymmetrical power dynamics. In response to cultural complexity we need to go beyond the habit of turning to simplistic solutions and building a holistic repertoire of flexible approaches that encompass the range of developmental opportunities we can build into any training programme. The integral framework that underpins this programme is one such attempt to guide our work as educators, trainers and facilitators.
As educators, trainers and facilitators there are at least 5 ways we can support participant development in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I):
- Role-modelling ED&I in our attitude and behaviours
- Effectively handling triggers or group dynamics that have ED&I at their root
- introducing a thread of ED&I in our training by adapting our coursework materials and activities
- Offering specific ED&I development alongside our other coursework
- Adopting inclusive principles and methodologies to underpin the design, development, delivery and evaluation of all training and development
ED&I work is also some of the most demanding in terms of emotional energy and facilitator skills, and the course will explore ways to resource and look after ourselves before, during and after engaging in this work.
Learning objectives and outcomes: By the end of the course participants will:
- Have an awareness and deeper understanding of their personal worldviews, assumptions, biases, and ‘hooks’; and have begun to learn and adopt ways to ameliorate the potential unintended adverse impact of internalised personal habits and conditioned tendencies, as well as transformative practices for working with cultural wisdom.
- Be familiar with the roots of the equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) work that have arisen from psychology, sociology, feminist/gender studies, black studies, intersectionality, political activism, spirituality, anthropology, philosophy and a wide range of other movements, and have begun to build a personal inclusive (meta)model that acknowledges and integrates different paradigms and approaches though the lens of key concepts (e.g. mindfulness and compassion) that can help guide their practice as a facilitator and trainer
- Have explored and practiced ways to introduce ED&I into their areas of work in terms of content and delivery
- Have an experiential understanding of ways to recognise and sensitively facilitate unplanned ED&I learning opportunities that may arise during workshops and group interactions
- Have an experiential understanding of ways to offer culturally sensitive support for individuals who may be affected by the learning materials, process and climate
- Understand and have experienced ways to take care of themselves before, during and after ED&I relevant topics and events
Participants should be experienced facilitators or trainers, with previous experience of anti-oppression or equality, diversity and inclusion work.