February 20, 2018 Meeting Recap

View the meeting slides here: Diversity Champions Slides 2.20

Dear Champions,

Thank you to those of you who joined us on Tuesday for our first Courageous Conversations About Race meeting. For those of you who had scheduling conflicts, this blog post provides a brief summary of Tuesday’s session. We appreciate you taking ownership of your own learning and encourage you to find others in your office to connect with about the content. Please refer to the link at the top of the page to access the meeting slides. To help us connect with each other, we have posted our membership list on our website: 2017-18 Membership list.

Welcome and Overview:
• We appreciate your dedication to this important work and want to stress that this first stage will be a personal journey with much self-reflection. However, as Diversity Champions and catalysts for institutional change, we need to first understand how race and culture impact everyone’s lives.
• We read Pablo Vega´s poem (refer to Slide 2) and used it to remember why we do this work: We do it for young people just like Pablo.

Review of Courageous Conversations Protocol (refer to Slide 3):
• The 4 Agreements: With practice you can utilize these agreements in many aspects of your life. They will be especially important to our work as Diversity Champions.
• Using The Compass, please think about which quadrant(s) you were in as you read the poem from Slide 2.
• Review the 6 Agreements. Which Agreement(s) do you think may present a challenge for you?

We started to establish our working definition of race:
• We talked about race as a social construct, however we will take a deeper dive into this in Chapter 3 (that´s one reason you should not miss our next Meeting on March 20th!)

We shared some of our worries and concerns:
• These conversations can be challenging because many of us are afraid to speak up or ask questions in fear of saying the “wrong thing.” In our meetings, we want to create a safe space that helps lessen these fears and encourages communication.
• This work can be emotionally draining, so we need to practice self-care to avoid burning out.
• Often there is no “instant gratification” for this type of work. We are fighting the long fight and that can be exhausting.
• What are some of your fears about taking on this heavy, but rewarding work?

Homework for March 20 meeting:
Please refer to Slide 6 for the reading and activity and to our membership list to find Champions to partner with. The activity is presented as a group activity, but you are welcome to work in pairs.

We are looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday, March 20th at 9:30 a.m. to explore Chapter 3 “Why Race”. Until then, I invite you stay engaged in this process by practicing the Four Agreements in all aspects of your life. You will see how this new understanding of the world quickly and positively effects your personal, local and immediate lives.

All my best,

Ana Lu