Dialogue for Inclusion

The Dialogue for Inclusion Workshop series is a six-part series that provides organizations with transformative tools necessary to conduct dialogues for a more collaborative and inclusive environment. The Crucial Conversations Workshop empowers participants to have difficult conversations honestly and respectfully about culturally and socially divisive issues. The Dialogue Methods Workshop introduces differing forms of dialogues to participants, which can be used to conduct a variety of discussions not limited to professional development sessions and organizational meetings. The Establishing Safety workshop equips participants with the ability to recognize bias and understand it’s underpinnings. The Maintaining Safety workshop introduces participants to the facilitation skills necessary to empower all people from varied backgrounds and realities to engage in meaningful dialogue. The Social Change Workshop introduces organizations to how to implement change projects within their own organizational sphere or their wider community.

Crucial conversations are difficult and important conversations people often shy away from having or have in explosive and destructive ways. Crucial conversations occur where opinions about what has happened, what to do, or what each party wants differ. Emotions run strong and the stakes are high because the relationship is valuable or each person fears loss of status. Participants in this workshop will gain a deeper understanding of the nature of crucial conversations; why they are critical to working with diverse groups and dealing with misunderstandings, implicit biases, and assumptions; and how to prepare for the conversations. They will have the chance to learn, practice, and role play techniques for transforming crucial conversations and for working towards mutual decisions.

Dialogue is different from debates, presentations, and discussions. Dialogue is a conversation in which people with various and often conflicting beliefs, values, and perspectives listen mindfully to each other, ask questions to elicit more information rather than to make a point, experience how to include differences, negotiate their social identities, find common ground, and move forward with their own personal growth and work with others to effect social change. This series of workshops introduces some of the many types of dialogue and how to decide which is most appropriate for a given situation. Participants will experience and learn how to construct and facilitate the basic five phase dialogue plus learn how to host large group dialogue processes such as “World Café” and “Open Space Technology.”

Participants will learn how to construct the story of “me,” the story of “my community,” and a story that can help build deeper understanding of the gift of differences among the many social identities we encounter. Participants will experience a four stage process for developing their social identity story and a process for claiming and sharing the power of their story.

What is Social Change? What is the role of a social change agent? What does a social change agent need to know? This workshop will introduce participants to the types of social change, the processes to effect social change, how to develop systems intelligence, how power is enacted in relationships, critical thinking about the inequities and assumptions that constrain human agency, the influences that can further or impede what change can be accomplished, how to identify and foster allies, and the role and knowledge base of a change agent.

How do we define safe space? How safe is too safe? As our society becomes more diverse, it’s become increasingly necessary to create a space where all people feel welcome, included and respected. This workshop will introduce participants to recognizing and interrogating implicit and explicit bias in their social and professional spheres.

This workshop will give participants the tools to work to defuse factors in a given environment that work against full inclusivity, empowerment and participation of all people. Special attention will be paid to providing skills for facilitating groups that give awareness to stereotype threat, implicit bias and micro-aggressions, which are common barriers to inclusion.


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