Testimonials

Testimonials & Feedback from those who have attended the training

 

When asked how useful did you find the training participants responded:

Participants reported that they found the training extremely useful. Training was found to add to the understanding of racism and improved participants ability to deal with racism.

 

“I think by the nature of the sessions, the first day provided more learning around understanding racism, whereas the follow up training day was much more focussed on supporting us to put our learning into practice.

 

Pauseful listening and SCARF model very helpful in terms of offering and alternative/softer approach to “challenging” and one that might be more fruitful?

I ended the day much more optimistic about us (self and team) actually doing something as a result of this training.

 

It was really helpful to see how Shungu helps people to unpick things they say and experiences they mention, in a way that facilitates reflection rather than brings up defensiveness – thank you.

 

Discussing the history or racism and biases in generally really helped with my understanding of racism.

 

One of the most interesting and useful for years!

 

Very – lots to think about and the 6 stages was a useful framework.

 

I felt the experiential nature of the training lent itself very well to the subject and to enabling us to get the most out of the day and personalising the content.

Fantastic delivery, lots of discussion and food for thought.

 

It was also useful to have time to reflect on my own experiences and realise how much of my early life was spent in white-only environments, and what experiences since then have led to me being where I am today.

 

The “caves of privilege” was a useful concept for me alongside the 6 stages model of understanding and dealing with racism.

 

Also highlighted areas that I want to revisit (e.g. theories around group think; negative automatic thoughts; ), further reading (Noughts & Crosses) and further study (strength-based resilience)

 

When asked if the training added to how you might deal with racism?

 

I think it definitely has but I will / would still be anxious about doing so.

 

I would like to know more about planning conversations

 

The framework is extremely really helpful and has helped me to reflect on how I have previously engaged in discussions around race and things to consider for the future not only on a professional level but on a personal level.

 

Pre-reading (history of racism) was especially helpful with this.

 

Discussions on stereotypes, biases and negative automatic thoughts were particularly helpful in exploring this further as well as the pre-course reading. Also, the metaphor of the cave is a very helpful way of conceptualising racism and prejudice and how/when people move deeper into their cave.

 

The six stages give a very helpful framework and the role play activity provided an alternative approach to my more usual response of direct challenge and confrontation, that I can see as being far more effective.

 

Small groups and then whole-group discussions were helpful with this, hearing others’ suggestions, for example how to challenge stereotypes in a “genuine spirit of psychological curiosity”. The key will be on how I implement this learning – and this is something that now depends on me, on my repeatedly doing it and learning from and reflecting on how I deal with racism each time I have to do this.

 

When asked if the training met their expectations participants responded:

 

Yes, I had hoped for a space for further reflection, to come away with an action plan (personal and team) for which I think we now have a good foundation, and to feel a little more empowered to take on the challenge of racial injustice, and feel I now have some tools that will help.

 

The follow up was described as invaluable in “making some of our hopes and aspirations in the area of inclusion and diversity much more practical with a clear picture of how we will move forward as a team.”

 

I was feeling somewhat discouraged concerning taking this forward as a team, as we seemed a few weeks ago to have lost our motivation, but today helped me to see that there is a level of commitment within the team to think about racism and what we can do to challenge racial injustice.

 

I think the day was perfectly pitched to support our goal of setting a clearer plan and way forward.

 

I was particularly expecting discussion around service delivery and how this links to racism and was pleased with the opportunity to explore this

 

Definitely! It provided an opportunity to discuss a challenging subject as a group with honesty and openness.

 

Yes – one of my main expectations/hopes was that I would go away with something to do that I could review on day two, in a sort of action research way and this hope was fulfilled.

 

I also hoped that there would be a framework that would help us to consider racism and our response to racism  as a team, which we were also able to do.

 

When asked did the training exceed your expectations?

 

I wasn’t expecting the training to be so reflective so yes, definitely.

 

It was no other training I’ve been on, I felt that you both (quickly) created a safe space to discuss some issues that we often shy away from.  I also liked how you encouraged a group of educational psychologists to actively listen rather than ask clarifying questions etc – powerful exercise.

 

It was more nuanced that I expected (in a good way)

 

I felt I had a voice to a greater extent that I expected (as a white person)

 

I possibly would have liked to understand/discuss the history of racism to a greater extent

 

The psychological concepts and models – added, precious stimuli and framework for thinking.

 

Role play – useful to have something to apply the framework too and reflect on what was done and the impact of this.

 

When asked what did you enjoy most about the day participants feedback that:

 

Shungu and Shirley’s warmth as trainers. Opportunities for reflection with others. Being able to start creating an action plan and feeling positive and motivated to move things forward.

 

Participants reported that they enjoyed having the time and space to think about such an important issue as a team facilitated by two wonderful and talented women.

 

Working together as a team on this matter and breaking frequently into small discussion groups with very defined tasks, facilitating everyone’s voice being heard.

 

Seeing Shungu “in action”.

 

Opportunity to be with colleagues; safe and facilitated forum to discuss racism; the discussion around terms around race, and the time spent reflecting on our own biases (and their impact).

 

Opportunities to reflect in small groups

 

Role play and discussion

 

Discussing, in a safe space, issues of race, diversity and inclusion

 

Opportunities to hear my colleagues’ perspectives in this area

Role play between the presenters really helped my understanding of the framework

Lots of practical tips / resources.

 

Discussions on stereotypes, biases and negative automatic thoughts were particularly helpful in exploring this further as well as the pre-course reading. Also, the metaphor of the cave is a very helpful way of conceptualising racism and prejudice and how/when people move deeper into their cave.

 

The way you organised & planned the training to provide containment for a very emotive and difficult area so that it was a safe environment for talking, sharing, revealing, taking risks….

 

When asked if the training met your expectations?

 

Participants responded:

I was particularly expecting discussion around service delivery and how this links to racism and was pleased with the opportunity to explore this

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect so difficult to answer

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect so this is hard to answer!

 

When asked what did you find most difficult?

 

Identification of our own biases.

 

Participants feedback that “knowing how to filter down what our priorities are/should be.”

 

Reflecting on own biases

 

Use of terminology – what is appropriate.

 

Seeing and hearing some of the biases I and others hold

 

Being the only Black woman in the room, I was very conscious of how others were responding to the training

 

Knowing whether it would be ok to say some of the things I was thinking and/or to question some of the ideas being put forward

 

The case study we didn’t have time to do (though I am planning to suggest we do this in team meeting or perhaps another team forum) – I didn’t know where to start on this.

 

Acknowledging my own biases. Identifying where these come from (still not sure about one of these).

 

Still not sure of the difference between unconscious and implicit bias (and if this difference is important).

 

Being honest about what I don’t know and reflecting on what I’ve seen with regards to racism.

 

What would you like future training to focus on?

 

Participants responded:

I want to look at Nancy Kline’s team meeting work; I’m going to regularly revisit the 6 stage model for understanding and responding to racism; I want to develop calm and respectful listening particularly when listening to people with different views.

Perhaps what we have ‘done’ in the in-between time – discuss why that and what next.

Having difficult conversations

How to introduce training into schools

Linked to both how to balance building bridges with not losing the focus on racism – can indirect approaches work/are they acceptable?

Perhaps more around hosting helpful conversations

More theory

Hear about how you have used the framework in practice

 

Further exploration of issues of racism and prejudice in XX and within our work.

Further ways that we can work with stakeholders around this issue.

Exploring and thinking about issues around segregation (e.g. segregation within some of our school populations).

 

Progress towards our personal action plans; next steps for our personal action plans; how we “cascade” this training to others in XX LA; developing and implementing our service development plan in this area; how/if we take this out to our schools.

 

If this were face-to-face training I would include role play, as I know that this is one of the ways I learn best (and I am aware that some people are wary of this way of learning).

 

Include what one thing might you do as a result of today’s training.

 

Use the framework to adapt the way I engage in conversations around race.

The check-in and debrief offered by Shungu was extremely helpful – I understand that this will be a standard offer moving forward.

A greater focus on terminology and checking this with people

Read more about the history

Challenge schools using the approaches shown by Shungu in the role play.

Challenge stereotyping comments using the phrase, “I’m genuinely curious about how you’ve reached this position” and other similar phrases.

 

Additional comments:

Thank you so much Shungu and Shirley for two fabulous, enjoyable, challenging and energising days.