WHAT IS A 'WORKSHOP?'
It has been said that "race" is the water we all swim in. To impact it and ultimately dismantle it, we all need to do the deep work of learning how to clearly see the water. Our WORKshops are designed to do just that. These aren't passive trainings where disengaged participants spend time checking emails and social media. These are highly participatory and interactive learning exchanges where ideas, experiences, insights, and emotions are shared. The candid and safe environment that is created helps participants discover the blueprint for race-based advantage and how this advantage impacts the work we do, the relationships we have, and the people we serve. As a result, we encourage participants to be fully present and mentally 'in the room.' This helps to provide real solutions that produce real results. Our goal is to help you build your organization by helping you build your people.
Our service philosophy is based on the fundamental principles of ReLearning and DDT.
We believe information is never truly 'unlearned'. It is nearly impossible for people to return to a blank slate of knowledge and learn things as if for the first time. Instead, our minds work like very efficient computers; processing new information based on the information we've previously programmed into it. As we interact with and begin to incorporate new information, we simply overwrite the old information to replace it with the new. We call this process ReLearning.
ReLearning is vital to understanding the many forms of racism because we must never forget the methods and consequences of racialized programming on our interpersonal and organizational decision making. Creating an organization committed to equity and inclusion requires constant ReLearning and incorporation of new concepts, new ways of thinking, and new ways of behaving. For organizations, ReLearning starts at the leadership level, moves downward through middle management, then to the employee level, and finally to the client contact level.
The second principle is the approach that diagnosis determines treatment or DDT. For example, a skilled doctor, mechanic, educator, or mental health practitioner does critical early work to assess why and how something is not functioning properly. We must do this same level of assessment in understanding racism. If we are to create an organization dedicated to the principles of equity, we must examine the system that created the inequity in the first place. This means taking a diagnostic approach to analyzing the power arrangements of our systems and institutions at a foundational level. It also means understanding the evolution of systems over time. Finally, DDT includes auditing the way we see differences, and how those perspectives have impacted our policies and practices. This will ultimately lead us to understand the differential impact that these policies and practices have on our clients and communities. Only after we have done a DDT approach will we be able to effectively address issues of equity, disparity, and bias in our organizations.