Interactive Workshops

Packed with Learning

More and more, meeting planners, conference organizers, and staff trainers are given a very short period of time to cover a lot of objectives. Moreover, outsiders are often called in for a short period of time to address one particular issue in reaction to an event that sits like an elephant in the room. All of my workshops are designed to accomplish your specific objectives including naming the elephant (reactive) and providing elephant training (proactive).

Just Rescue

Who has the power to choose who lives or dies? Who writes the moral code we live by? Who “unwrites” this code? Even with limited information, we are socialized to make quick decisions about another person. This directly relates to how we work with, talk to, and support other people. When given an opportunity to examine “back stories” and assumptions, participants learn the positives and negatives of stereotypes. Participants can use this knowledge to make informed decisions in the future.

Learning Outcomes:

  • To identify default decision-making processes with regards to logical, relational, creative, and emotional connections.
  • To recognize and challenge three stereotypes or assumptions they hold about others
  • To identify three stereotypes/assumptions participants have about others
  • To name one to three intersecting visible/invisible identities

Comments from attendees:
“I identify as Hmong and live in North Carolina. This activity helped me understand how it feels to be oppressed by more than one label and understand unlike others who only know of the label."

"The Just Rescue activity really opened my eyes to the many different stereotypes people use by just reading two or three words. I need to think before I think – not just think before I speak.”

Social Justice: When Diversity Isn’t Enough

(Typically, I would encourage a social justice or diversity workshop be entitled Social Justice: When Diversity Isn’t Enough, and then depending on time and the level of knowledge that is in the room at the point of the program, I will flow between the following programs).

What is the difference between Social Justice and Diversity? As a leader, change agent and person working and living with other people — this difference is imperative. Learn the difference, stretch from your comfort zone, sit in your privilege, power, and place of dominance within institutional and systematic forms of oppression in this highly interactive program.

Learning Outcomes:

  • To understand how pre-existing assumptions affect an individual’s ability to recognize and value diversity.
  • To recognize and give examples of difference in both a singular and plural context.

Comments from attendees:
“Made me further consider what I am seeing and hearing and assuming."
"This really made me open my eyes and made me look at myself and how I do things, make assumptions, and blindly see things.”

Just Rescue

Who has the power to choose who lives or dies? Who writes the moral code we live by? Who “unwrites” this code? Even with limited information, we are socialized to make quick decisions about another person. This directly relates to how we work with, talk to, and support other people. When given an opportunity to examine “back stories” and assumptions, participants learn the positives and negatives of stereotypes. Participants can use this knowledge to make informed decisions in the future.

Learning Outcomes:

  • To identify default decision-making processes with regards to logical, relational, creative, and emotional connections.
  • To recognize and challenge three stereotypes or assumptions they hold about others
  • To identify three stereotypes/assumptions participants have about others
  • To name one to three intersecting visible/invisible identities

Comments from attendees:
“I identify as Hmong and live in North Carolina. This activity helped me understand how it feels to be oppressed by more than one label and understand unlike others who only know of the label."

"The Just Rescue activity really opened my eyes to the many different stereotypes people use by just reading two or three words. I need to think before I think – not just think before I speak.”

Messages I Learned

Doing Social Justice work is a simple concept, but it isn't easy.  While moving forward, we must also trace from where we have come from and what we have learned.  This activity is primarily a silent self reflection journey through one's past to better inform our futures.

Learning Outcomes:

    • Identify messages you learned about one key identity that make you who you are
    • Identify messages you learned about at least two group to which you are not a member
    • Identity an event where you actively or passively supported oppression
    • Connect the functions of internalized and externalized oppression with one's own identities and experiences
  • Participate in an authentic conversation regarding emotions, anxieties, and realities of doing social justice work

The Day Everything Changed…

It's every administrator's nightmare — your campus (primarily white, small/large, public/ private) on the nightly news for a racist party, hazing report, or other shocking incident. Suddenly, you're in crisis mode, searching for a sense of perspective. Whether you're in such a mode or trying to prevent an episode, there are things you can do to examine the gap between social responsibility and your campus code of conduct.  By clearly identifying both the worse case scenarios with the many ideals it is easier to identify real obstacles.  Once these obstacles can be clearly named, we will set realistic expectations, goals, policies, and bias response procedures to cultivate an inclusive campus culture steeped in community responsibility.

Learning Outcomes:

    • To learn to facilitate discussions around contingency plans for campus crises.
    • To clearly identify obstacles to an ideal campus climate and facilitate change in campus protocol to achieve meaningful change.
    • To understand how to effectively manage crises preparation on campus.
    • To clearly define the roles of campus members in proactively addressing campus situations.

ZOOM!
Whether you are talking about working in groups, bureaucracies, or just getting the hang of new policies and procedures — everything is linked together. This is a frustrating, interactive, and relieving program that helps you see how you communicate and work with others while keeping focus on a bigger picture. Once you can step out of your own perspective, you can really being to lead and work with other. Energize a group of 15-115 after lunch, early in the morning, or just break up a long day of training by really working together.

 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify group dynamics regarding communication styles
  • Develop listening skills and a better understanding of one's own communication patterns
  • Understand the pros and cons of strong leadership styles and extroverted personalities
  • Create a space for thinking outside of the box, other's perspectives, and multiple agendas

Sticks and Stones: LGBT 101

What better way to learn about sexual identities than to list out social norms, stereotypes, media images, rumors, jokes, and slang! This is a safe space for any and all kinds of interactive discussions regarding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Heterosexual identities.  By then comparing themes of these messages learned for these different groups, we can then have a much deeper conversation about class, race, educational access, citizenship, ability assumptions, etc.  By understanding out language we can hold our selves accountable to building an inclusive environment for all (regardless of sexual identity).

Learning Outcomes:

  • To articulate their own stereotypes, derogatory terms, and other assumptions for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and heterosexual people
  • To identify others' stereotypes, derogatory terms, and other assumptions for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and heterosexual people
  • To recognize the U.S. cultural need for binaries when examining sexual identities and gender identities

Comment from attendee:
“You answered all of my questions knowledgeably and without making me feel dumb for asking.”

Gender This!

Typically, I would encourage a trans or gender based program be entitled Gender This!, and then depending on time and the level of knowledge that is in the room at the point of the program, I will flow between the following programs).

This workshop is a very basic workshop introducing the concept of gender as a social construct and how gender expression change through class, culture, and time. This workshop is very interactive and provides a safe place for all sorts of questions regarding identity, language, sex, sexuality, and gender perception. Conversations then center of the intersections of sexism, heterosexism, race, class, etc., to connect the individual experience to systems of oppression.

Learning Outcomes:

  • To recognize three of their own stereotypes/assumptions about gender
  • To understand and evaluate three stereotypes about gender that are supported by US culture
  • To reorganize traditional gender perceptions based on the realities of judgments and assumptions

 

Fun Triangle

After doing transgender education for a number of years, this program developed around the triangulation of sex, gender, and sexual identity and the connections between sexism and heterosexism. By clearly depicting the differences and dependence of these three words that are often used synonymously, we can then begin a deeper conversation regarding current policies and procedures on campus. Understanding these differences can be made very simple so that next steps can be planned for campuses and organizations that may not be easy to implement.

Learning Outcomes:

  • To define sexual identity, gender identity and sex
  • To recognize the difference between sex, sexual identity and gender identity
  • To describe how sexism and heterosexism are perpetuated by the conflation of sexual identity, gender identity, and sex

Comment from attendee:
“Jessica was very animated and information. She is a very good speaker and made me think about our culture and question it.”

Facing Trans: Inclusion, Advocacy, and Empowerment

As we become comfortable with the Lesbian and Gay plight on our college campuses and in the workplace, we continue to overlook Bisexuals and silence Transgender populations. Trans folks are courageously coming forward and identifying as such more and more often. This day-long training is designed to help college human resource administrators strategically plan to provide a safe and supportive climate for all and to prepare participants to become better advocates for the trans community. Be a leader by identifying the needs, (including invisible populations), advocating effectively for trans people, and empowering all community members to take action.

Currently fewer than 100 colleges and universities and even fewer Fortune 500 companies protect transgender students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors in their non-discrimination policies, yet more and more people are coming forward with trans or gender variant identities that directly challenge existing policies, procedures, and services. This in-depth interactive training aims to:

  • Increase awareness of the existence of the trans/gender variant populations
  • Transfer this knowledge to proactively identify campus actions steps
  • Create more higher education administrator advocates for trans needs
  • Elevate home campus as a leader in serving trans populations

As a participant in this training, individuals will benefit from:

    • Professional Development and on-going education about diverse populations on campus
    • Hands on resources to take back to campus to be more inclusive for trans/gender variant students, faculty, and staff, alumni, and other community members
    • Personal education and training to raise awareness of trans issues
    • Safe space to asks questions, check assumptions, and learn about this invisible population
  • Participants can be added to a growing Trans Advocacy listserv for on-going support as issues arise on campus