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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Strategies for Facilitating Conversations on Race

Caprice Hollins and Ilsa Govan

Facilitating conversations about race often involves tension, as both the facilitators and participants bring emotional experiences and their deeply held values and beliefs into the room.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Strategies for Facilitating Conversations on Race guides facilitators through a process of becoming comfortable with the discomfort in leading conversations about racism, privilege and power.

This book walks you through the important steps to create a foundation where participants feel brave enough to take risks and share their stories and perspectives. It guides you through strategies for engaging participants in courageous conversations with one another in ways that don’t shame and blame people into understanding. This book is a useful tool for individuals, organizations and college professors who are interested in learning techniques for guiding their audience through dialogue whereby they become open to listening to one another for understanding rather than holding on to old beliefs and maintaining a posture of defense.

Readers will learn how the dynamics of race show up in cross cultural spaces, including the unique challenges faced by facilitators of color and white facilitators. In addition, we explore how to identify and counter white privilege in the dialogue between participants.

Both novice and experienced facilitators will learn helpful strategies for leading conversation that result in people recognizing their role as change agents in ending oppression.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 186Size: 7 x 10
978-1-4758-1498-9 • Paperback • March 2015 • $34.00 • (£23.95)
978-1-4758-1499-6 • eBook • March 2015 • $32.00 • (£22.95)
Caprice Hollins received her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Multicultural and Community Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology-LA. She is an Assistant Professor of Counseling at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology and co-founder of Cultures Connecting.

Ilsa Govan, co-founder of Cultures Connecting, is deeply invested in understanding how privilege, power and culture influence our lives in order to advocate for equity and justice. She has a Master’s Degree in Bicultural Human Development from Pacific Oaks College and a K-12 Teaching Certificate in Special Education and English Language Learning.
Chapter: 1 Structuring a Workshop
Chapter 2: Creating a Welcoming Environment
Chapter 3: Common Facilitator Fears and Needs
Chapter 4: Increasing Your Confidence
Chapter 5: Introductions
Chapter 6: Building Relationships
Chapter 7: Establishing Credibility
Chapter 8: Facilitation Style
Chapter 9: Basic Facilitation Tips
Chapter 10: Facilitation Strategies
Chapter 11: Examining a Situation for Understanding
Chapter 12: Assessing Your Triggers
Chapter 13: Common Examples of Triggering Events
Chapter 14: Restructure Self Talk
Chapter 15: Racial Microaggressions
Chapter 16: Hot Buttons
Chapter 17: Racial Microaggressions Themes
Chapter 18: Crossroads to Reinforcing Cycles in Relationships
Chapter 19-Learning Conversations Stems
Chapter 20-Counteracting Expressions of White Privilege
Chapter 21-Reframing or Invalidating Experiences of People of color
Chapter 22-Valuing the Product over the process
Chapter 23-The Idea that Logic, Reasoning and Linear Thinking Do Not Involve Emotion
Chapter 24-Being Agenda Bound
Chapter 25-Whites Distancing Themselves from Other Whites
Chapter 26-Either/Or Thinking
Chapter 27-Strategies for Facilitating Courageous Conversations
Chapter 28- Facilitating Dialogue Between Two Participants
Chapter 29-Engaging the Resistance
Chapter 30-Balancing Humor
Chapter 31-Role Playing Activity
Appendix A- This is the Hour
Appendix B- Checklist of What to Bring
Appendix C-Norms
Appendix D-What is Cultural Competence
Appendix E-Definitions
Appendix F-Sample Agenda
Appendix G-Sample Workshop Evaluation Form
Recommended Resources
About the Authors
Hollins and Govan have pooled together resources, assessment tools, examples, and counter examples to the most common everyday happenings when facilitating tough conversations. Articulating the obvious patterns of behavior, of both a group of participants and as facilitators, this manual holds one's hand and eradicates excuses surrounding touchy subjects, personal triggers, internalized self-doubt, and our common journey to unveil if not dismantle complex systems of oppression. After 10 years of doing this work, I feel more prepared to continue and wish I had this tool a decade ago.
Jessica Pettitt, certified speaking professional, www.GoodEnoughNow.com

Caprice & Ilsa have taken Richard Bach's admonition to heart in this book: “Learning is finding out what we already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you." Their fabulous book helps new and seasoned facilitators learn, do and teach so that participants in these conversations can approach conversations on race with open hearts and grace.
LueRachelle Brim-Atkins, principal consultant, Brim-Donahoe & Associates in Seattle, WA

Leading one of the most diverse school districts in the nation requires me to not only continue to develop my own cultural competency but to ensure our school community also invests itself in this lifelong work. Dr. Caprice Hollins and Ilsa Govan have produced an invaluable tool-kit that drives home how race, prejudice and bias impact our society and the schoolhouse. They provide us with practical exercises and strategies to shepherd personal and institutional growth. Through understanding, not judgment, they help us to see the world through a compassionate lens that enables us to push one another toward greater competence while cultivating the human goodness we each possess. The authors, both with strong backgrounds in education, demonstrate profound understanding of the complexity of this work. This book ought to be considered foundational for all school leaders as we collective deliver on the moral imperative of creating a more equitable and just society.
Nancy Coogan, superintendent; Tukwila School District, WA State

Wow! This book is the most practical, comprehensive, useful guide for facilitating courageous conversations on race that I've ever read. I've attended a few of Cultures Connecting workshops and have been impressed with the facilitators' ability to create dynamic, inclusive AND challenging workshops that move everyone forward in their cultural competence. The expertise that Caprice and Ilsa offer in this book is invaluable for any facilitator wanting to grow their skills. I cannot recommend it enough and will definitely use these strategies in future trainings I facilitate.
Allison Cohen, executive director, Refugee Immigrant Services Northwest

As the lead trainer for the YWCA of Seattle|King|Snohomish and an activist for 20 years, I believe that Caprice Hollins and Ilsa Govan have created an extremely effective way to have courageous conversation around race and racism. Their organized approach, along with an understanding of how the human mind comprehends information and the human heart processes feelings around cultural competency, race and racism is outstanding. As culturally competent training around race has become a cornerstone to effective policy and program solutions, their book could not come at a better time.
Indira Bahner, MSW Social Justice Coordinator

Do you have a passion to authentically penetrate one of the most unfinished conversations in the United States? This thought-provoking book offers: An opportunity to extend on how you currently engage folks in courageous discussions on “race” while simultaneously strengthening your own reflective journey towards cultural competence! I encourage you to do what I have done-to grasp onto the gift of this radiant vision and interweave it’s brilliance into your present work!
Debra Jenkins, MA, MS, professor of early childhood education and psychology, Founder of Share the Flame Strategies for Growth, Development, and Change

The illumination that there is no 'one right way to engage in conversations about racism, power and privilege' was very freeing. Caprice and Ilsa offer a number of strategies and thoughtful approaches on how we can respectfully engage in often-difficult conversations, which helps to keep me mindful that the onus is on me, not the other person. Since reading this book, I am moved to discard my tired mantra of 'if only I had said' and revise it to 'if only I had asked.' I can see how this little change can advance a conversation in a very powerful way!
Susan McCallister, Planning and Development Specialist, Senior,Seattle Human Services Department

Caprice D. Hollins and Ilsa M. Govan have created an honest and forthright, multiple perspectives guide for all levels of racial and social justice workshop facilitators. From how to organize and maximize the physical space and create a productive, engaging atmosphere, to methods for redirecting those who attempt to control the conversation, this guide offers direction for engaging in honest, critical dialogue. Authors offer ways to scaffold prior knowledge, defuse intercultural conflict and engage in the introspective reflection required to be successful in social justice activism. A welcome addition to the field.
Eddie Moore Jr., Ph.D. Founder, The White Privilege Conference