Continuing Courageous Conversations Toolkit

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ContinuingCourageous ConversationsToolkit8/8/2017

AcknowledgmentsFunded by:Iowa Department of Human ServicesDeveloped by:Lisa D’Aunno, JDMichelle Heinz, MSW graduate studentThe National Resource Center for Family Centered PracticeUniversity of Iowa School of Social WorkWith additional contributions by:Erin Kramer, M EdIowa State University Child Welfare Research and Training ProjectSandy Lint, LMSWIowa Department of Human ServicesSpecial thanks to Jolene Holden, Sue Strever, the Race: The Power of anIllusion (RPI) facilitators, and the Cultural Equity Alliance members. Theirknowledge and guidance was invaluable during the development of thisToolkit.

Human conversation is the most ancient andeasiest way to cultivate the conditions for change– personal change, community and organizationalchange, planetary change. If we can sit togetherand talk about what’s important to us, we begin tocome alive. We share what we see, what we feel,and we listen to what others see and feel.-Margaret Wheatley (2002)

ToolkitTable of ContentsIntroductory Materials . 1About the Toolkit . 1Ground Rules for Continuing Courageous Conversations1 . 3Exercises . 5Ice Breakers . 7Exercises. 11Learning about Microaggressions . 11Exploring our Racial Consciousness - Racial Autobiography11 . 15Exploring our Racial Consciousness – Race in My Life12 . 19The Courageous Conversation Compass13 . 21Understanding Privilege . 27Anti-Racist Bystander Intervention . 31Community Report Card18 . 33Face Test: Do I have the full picture?19 . 35Perspective Taking20 . 37Becoming Aware of Our Implicit Biases21 . 39Project Implicit . 41How to Overcome Our Biases . 43Stand Up and Declare Activity22. 45Page i

Speed Meeting Activity23 . 47Incorporating a Racial Equity Lens When Facilitating Dialogues24 . 51Resources. 53Videos and Movies . 53Books . 57Web Links for More Exercises/Tools . 59Meeting Tools. 61Sample Agenda for Self-Guided Facilitation . 61Discussion Guide for Planning Future Meetings. 63Guidance for Drafting Your Group’s Statement of Purpose . 64Continuing Courageous Conversations Meeting Sign-In SheetPage ii

ToolkitIntroductory MaterialsIntroductory MaterialsAbout the ToolkitThe purpose of the Continuing Courageous Conversations Toolkit is to provide support and tools forparticipants to take one or more “next steps” after the Race: The Power of an Illusion (RPI) learningexchange.The primary learning objective of the RPI learning exchange is to build organizational capacity to engage inongoing “courageous conversations” about the intersections of race, equity and child welfare by:1) Introducing key data, foundational concepts, frameworks and definitions2) Increasing knowledge about the development of the social construct of race and how public policyhas resulted in vastly unequal opportunities and disparities based on skin color3) Increasing awareness about racial and ethnic disparities in the child welfare and juvenile justicesystems4) Introducing the concept of courageous conversations about race5) Increasing participants’ comfort level in engaging in courageous conversations6) Encouraging participants to commit to take some additional action following the learning exchangeThe Toolkit is intended to be introduced at the RPI follow up meeting to reinforce the learning, comfortlevel and commitment made at the learning exchange. In addition, participants should feel free to use thetools provided in any community setting where others are willing to engage in courageous conversationsabout race.The Toolkit contains a number of group exercises designed to guide participants through a courageousconversation that can occur within a 20- to 45-minute time frame. The table of exercises on pages 5-6spells out the objective, time frame, and cultural competence goal of each exercise. A few of the exercisescall for a volunteer facilitator and some advance preparation; most do not. The exercises were selectedfrom a variety of sources (see references) and adapted for ease of use without a trained facilitator.The Toolkit has an optional meeting format that can be followed by a volunteer facilitator (see pages 6162).Page 1

Introductory MaterialsToolkitThe Toolkit also contains descriptions and links to other resources for courageous conversations aboutrace, including books, videos and movies and accompanying discussion guides (see pages 57-59).Conversations about race may raise feelings of indifference, guilt, shame, and mistrust. These feelings arevalid and expected, but they often result in avoiding important discussions that must occur before raceinequity can be addressed.The Ground Rules for Continuing Courageous Conversations are very important to review prior to engagingin any exercise in the Toolkit. The group is encouraged to read the ground rules aloud and to ask for eachperson’s verbal agreement to abide by them. It is also a good idea to see if the group wishes to suggest anyadditional ground rules.Page 2

ToolkitIntroductory MaterialsGround Rules for Continuing CourageousConversations1Read aloud:Courageous conversations are dialogues in which participants commit to engage each other with honesty,open-mindedness, and vulnerability; to listen deeply to better understand each other’s perspective; and to“sustain the conversation when it gets uncomfortable or diverted”2. The goal of Ground Rules forContinuing Courageous Conversations is to be able to have a conversation about race without excessivefear of being labeled racist, biased or bigoted, to avoid blaming or being blamed, and to avoid discountingor invalidating the experiences and feelings of others.To that end, we agree to follow these ground rules:Stay Engaged Give yourself permission to focus fully on the conversation topic or exercise at hand.Please silence your cell phone.Share a story, state your opinion, ask a question—risk and grow!Speak Your Truth Value everyone’s thoughts.Start by assuming good intentions.Speak from your own experience and use “I” statements, as in “I think”, “I feel”, “I believe”, or“I want”. 3It’s important that we create a safe environment where everyone is free to speak openly.Keep in mind that people are in different places in this work. In order for us to grow, people need to beable to share thoughts in a way that’s comfortable for them.Be aware of non-verbal communication.Before speaking, think about what you want others to know. How can they best hear you?Mistakes are part of success. Don’t be overly cautious about being politically correct – this is a learningprocess.Disagree respectfully.Listen for Understanding Listen without thinking about how you are going to respond. Try to understand where another person is coming from as best you can. Be careful not to compare your experiences with another person’s. This often invalidates or minimizesa person’s experiences. If someone is pointing out how what you said left them feeling, try not to explain or rationalize whatyou said or why you said it. Sometimes positive intent is not enough. Sometimes it’s necessary to justsay, “I didn’t realize what I said was inappropriate or hurt you in that way, I’m sorry,” etc. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.Page 3

Introductory MaterialsToolkitHonor Confidentiality What is shared here, stays here.Expect and Accept Non-closure Engaging in race conversations is ongoing work that does not necessarily leave a person walking awayfeeling everything turned out the way they hoped. Accept that much of this is about changing yourself,not others.Responsibility to Each Other and to the Courageous Conversation Process Group members will encourage each other to follow the ground rules.Additional Ground Rules Agreed to by the Group (optional) Participants are invited to propose additional ground rules for courageous conversations. The groupmay wish to discuss before deciding whether they agree to abide by additional ground rules. If so, theadditional ground rules should be written out for everyone to see.Sources: Race: The Power of an Illusion Learning Exchange;; Singleton (2006) CourageousConversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools 1st ed.12Singleton (2016) Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools 2nd ed.”I” statements allow the speaker to express their feelings without blaming someone or inferring the intent of someone else. Theformula for an “I” statement or message is: I feel when happens because.3Page 4

ToolkitIntroductory MaterialsExercisesPageExerciseTimeLearning ObjectiveIcebreakersvariesTo encourage everyone to participate through initialconversation starters7Learning aboutMicroaggressions45 min To define microaggressions, recognize their hidden meaningand learn ways to avoid committing them11RacialAutobiography45 min To increase awareness of our own racial experiences as well aslearning from others15Race in My Life45 min To establish a racial context that is personal, local, andimmediate (follow up to Racial Autobiography exercise)19The CourageousConversationCompass45 min To think about how individuals deal with racial information,with the goal of being able to better understand where peopleare coming from21UnderstandingPrivilege30 min To understand personal privilege and how it can be used toconfront Community ReportCard45 min To think about whether individuals from racial and ethnicgroups in our community have equal access to services33Face Test25 min To explore the extent to which our experiences have exposedus to racial diversity and how it may affect our perspectives35Perspective Taking20-45minTo better understand how our backgrounds affect ourperspectives and how we relate to our neighbors andcommunity37Becoming Aware ofOur Implicit Biases(Badges)20 min To become aware of our implicit biases and discuss the impacton our experience of difference39To practice a skill; namely, to learn how to intervene when aperson is harassing someone or saying racist remarksPage 5

Introductory MaterialsToolkitProject Implicit20 min To explore our implicit biases and discuss strategies forchanging them41How to OvercomeOur Biases30 min To learn strategies for overcoming personal bias43Stand up andDeclare Activity25 min To share information about ourselves with one another45Speed MeetingActivity45 min To become comfortable talking about race/ethnicity andreflect on past and present experiences47Incorporating aRacial Equity LensWhen FacilitatingDialogues50 min To increase awareness of how racial dynamics can impact ourwork as dialogue facilitators, and learn how to work togethermore equitably as a team51Page 6

ToolkitIce BreakersIce BreakersThe following list of ice breakers and exercises can be used at the start of meetings as a “warm up” to geteveryone talking at the beginning of the meeting before more difficult conversations are in

Compass . 45 min . To think about how individuals deal with racial information, with the goal of being able to better understand where people are coming from . 21 : Understanding Privilege . 30 min . To understand personal privilege and how it can be used to confront racism . 27 : Anti-Racist Bystander

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