Training for Change: Training for Social Action Trainers (TSAT)
The TSAT is the basic three-day training offered by the US-based training collective Training for Change (TfC). This is primarily a training for facilitators/educators/trainers to learn how to train other folks. TfC have a load of amazing (downloadable!) resources like games, ice-breakers, exercises for doing mainstream/margin work and dealing with power dynamics in the room. The training is great to learn more about the TfC approach to education, or their pedagogy if you will, which is highly experiential – this means they draw on direct education learning approaches where you start with an experience, move into reflection, generalise from that reflection, experiment and then experience again. More information about UK-based programmes from TfC can be found on the Campaign Bootcamp website: https://campaignbootcamp.org/training-for-trainers/
Resist+Renew: Exploring Collective Liberation
This weekend-long residential workshop looked at themes of solidarity, power and privilege and moving through and beyond the shame and guilt many of us with privilege experience. It was one of the most powerful trainings I have ever been on. Through using personal stories, weaving family histories with historical moments of oppression and liberation, getting embodied experiences of both oppression and solidarity through Theatre of the Oppressed techniques, and delving into moments of movement solidarity that have taken place in the recent past to understand and model how we can act going forward, the learning was rich and deep. The trainers/facilitators wrote a more detailed account of the programme which can be found here: https://resist-renew.com/2018/03/30/exploring-collective-liberation/. Definitely apply for this if it happens again!
Diversity is an Asset: Building Inclusive and Equitable Organisations
This four-session, online programme is all about how racism plays out at a structural, institutional, inter-personal and inner level and what can be done to change our organisations and ourselves into more anti-oppressive spaces. Whilst this course is run out of the US, the models and frameworks used by the trainers translate really well to a UK context and I still got a lot out of this programme. Definitely one for people working in groups and organisations that are trying to go beyond diversity to re-centre their work towards the margins and prioritise equity and inclusion. Applications for the next course are open now. Keep an eye on their website for more info: http://diversityisanasset.com/dia
Navigate: Facilitating effective and inclusive group discussion
This evening workshop introduced us to the basics of facilitation. The way mainstreams and margins work within groups was a key component of this training session and ways facilitators can rebalance power dynamics a key learning goal. Navigate developed this workshop for the Bristol Cable - a media cooperative - based on our needs. If you need training on collaboration, facilitation and conflict resolution check them out - they are awesome: https://navigate.org.uk/
ULEX: Sustaining Resistance: Training for trainers
In April, I travelled by train across France and Cataluña to ULEX – a training centre in the heart of the Pyrenees mountains for a ten-day training. This workshop was a training for trainers who want to lead sessions on burnout and sustaining resistance for activists/campaigners. It was intense! We learnt more about our own journeys with burnout and resistance, leaned into conflict and power dynamics in the group, and explored ways to improve our own facilitation and training skills. It definitely made me focus on improving my practice as a facilitator but comes with growing pains! This course is running again in the spring. More info here: http://ulexproject.org/courses_events/sustaining-resistance-txt-2/
Everyday Feminism: Healing from Toxic Whiteness
This is a ten-part programme of online webinars, lectures, and mediations. I have to confess I only got to week four. There is a wealth of content which is really valuable but I found the attempt to engage with deep-rooted, painful issues via the computer screen, when I was often alone not great. This work is often uncomfortable and we need to lean into the discomfort. But I didn't manage to stick with it. Perhaps the format and the style are my excuses. Judge for yourself. The School for Social Justice runs a range of online programmes on different topics. Find out more here: https://everydayfeminism.com/school/
Resist+Renew: White is not a neutral colour
Another workshop from Resist+Renew organised by the London Black Atheists. This session explored themes around whiteness, anti-racism and solidarity work. Integrating mediation, caucus work and group discussion, this workshop provided a really good introduction to a difficult and under-explored topic with care and sensitivity. For more workshops by this collective and to get in touch with them check out their website: https://resist-renew.com/
In the summer, I was involved in organising a workshop exploring the theme of collective care. Self-care has received a lot of attention, especially in social movement work where burn out is a big issue. But individualising care can often place the burden of recovery on the person struggling, rather than building in care to our groups and communities (ideally before things become difficult/exhausting!) In this short, evening session we shared food, imagined what collective care might look like and explored how to start creating it in the spaces we were part of.
December 2018 Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.
Organising for Change
To close up the year was Organising for Change - a weekend training programme that seeks to explore how we can organise to build power especially with people not already in our movements; the cultures we need to develop to transform and heal our society; and strategies to get there. This was the fourth time we have run this training now and probably the last in its current form. Watch this space for what comes next. And for more information check out Tasha's blog that describes our intentions with this work: https://thinkingdoingchanging.com/2017/04/19/organising-for-change/