Last night Debby Irving led a fantastic public workshop entitled “Transformational Conversations” that explored what keeps us from speaking up when someone says something harmful or offensive. This workshop is usually only given in private settings, but we feel these skills are important for everyone to learn. The group discussed their specific fears, learned key skills for approaching conversations with curiosity and openness, and practiced those skills together.
It was such a great experience that we’re doing it again! Sign up for her next offering of “Transformational Conversations” on January 8, 2023.
Because dominant white culture encourages us to avoid conflict, many of us raised in it have not fully developed the insight, skill, and emotional stamina necessary to broach and navigate differences of perspective and opinion, especially when harm to a member of a marginalized group is part of the mix. After all, we’re taught not to even see race, let alone talk about it! Too often these unskilled conversations are completely avoided or broached only to go from bad to worse, leaving people in divided camps teeming with assumption and anger that further divides us and wreaks havoc on our relationships and communities.
There is a different way. In contrast to the social norms of whiteness are norms and skills designed to develop the authenticity and courage necessary to deeply understand one another in ways that forge connection and develop resilience. These are also ways of being that nurture and grow us personally and collectively.
This interactive workshop will explore how to embed new, transformational norms into our personal and institutional practices.