“White Privilege” “Systemic Racism” “Black Lives Matter” “All Lives Matter” “BAME” “Intersectionality” “Silence is Compliance” “Stay Woke” “Snowflake Generation”

Just some of the terms that society is currently wrestling with. How comfortable are we in our knowledge and use of them? When we feel uncomfortable, we avoid potentially progressive conversations or situations. When uncomfortable, we are the less likely to do the right thing.

“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly” – Mahatma Gandhi

There is a need to be responsive to ever-changing social dynamics and events that shape how we make sense of our culture. We must make it our responsibility to have progressive conversations, to challenge harmful behaviours, and to never look the other way. There has arguably never been a more pressing time to do this: the murder of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests have awakened the world to the problem of racism and structural oppression. This event is about asking what we can do to contribute to inclusive cultures and make the world a better place for individuals who continue to be unfairly treated.

This three-hour event encourages the behaviour change necessary for the development of inclusive environments. It is crucial that we feel able to openly discuss matters of race and (in)equality, especially as this often creates discomfort. We will explore where this discomfort emanates from and empower attendees to overcome the fear and inaction that it creates. Be prepared to feel uncomfortable, be prepared to be challenged, be committed to do better.

• To discuss difficult-to-define constructs such as ‘race’, ‘ethnicity’, and ‘equality’.
• To explore and challenge my own beliefs about race and inclusivity.
• To reflect on the lived experience of individuals who have suffered oppression.
• To develop and practice ways of combatting behaviours that marginalise.
• To challenge and break down the fear associated with discussing the above topics.

By the end of the session, I will be able to
• Describe some of the unconscious contributors that inform my behaviour.
• Discuss what can be meant by ‘race’, ‘ethnicity’, ‘oppression’, and ‘marginalisation’.
• Give examples of the kind of inequalities that some groups suffer.
• Engage in discussions about how discrimination can be experienced.
• Challenge my own ideas and beliefs.
• Implement methods of good practice into my professional and social environment.