Course content

Power, Discrimination and Systemic Oppression

Increasing Awareness and Capacity for Action
from November 7 to 16, 2023

The workshop is composed of two modules (one main and one complementary) in order to offer:

  • a space for individual and collective exploration of integration of a systemic look at Nonviolent Communication.
  • And a time of deepening for people who are called to train, facilitate, animate or support groups in view of a social change.

This course is intended primarily for people who are involved in social change, through the transmission of NVC and/or through their activism, or for people who are marginalized because of their class, gender, skin color, sexual orientation, etc, and who have little access to such training usually.

Main module

43 hours on 6 days
Days 3-8
November 9 (3 pm) to 14 2023 (5 pm)
50-60 participants

Complementary module 

27 hours over 2×2 days
Days 1-2
From November 7 (3 pm) to 8 (ends at 5:30 pm)
Days 9-10
From November 15 (9 am) to 16 (6:30 pm)
20-30 participants

Main module

Do you want to create a world that truly works for all? Have you been intrigued by the power of Nonviolent Communication to support change but alarmed at ways it can be used that inadvertently reinforce patterns of domination? Are you struggling with an awareness that your lack of understanding of perspectives different from your own can get in the way of that mission? Are you already fiercely aware of and committed to address systemic inequities, but seek to do it by changing the paradigm rather than repeating patterns that keep changing who has power and who wins and who loses?

We invite folks from all backgrounds to come and work together to increase their awareness of systemic inequities and explore ways an integration of a systemic lens with Nonviolent Communication has been used to support meaningful change. Through this training, we will explore our individual relationship to power and privilege and the barriers to understanding the experiences of others. Participants will develop the capacity to fearlessly speak about social inequities in ways that seek to build shared understanding. From that place of shared understanding, we will learn how to call in allies and collaboratively develop strategies that create a world that works for all, without leaving anyone behind. 

We invite activists and Nonviolent Communication practitioners, those with marginalized identities and those with more privileged identities, to come together to explore how to:

  • Use the NVC paradigm and a systemic lens, to avoid reproducing the very patterns of domination we are trying to liberate ourselves from.
  • Use the body to grow our capacity to stay with the discomfort that often accompanies conversations about privilege and -isms such as racism, sexism…
  • Recognize and address the systemic issues that impact us and those with whom we interact, regardless of our respective levels of privilege, 
  • Make observations about inequities in ways that acknowledge the historical context while capturing the individual and collective impact,
  • Hold an intention to be an ally and respond to inequities in ways that supports the most marginalized without demonizing anyone.
  • Use our deepest values to make requests, shape intentional action and inform chosen strategies.
  • Cultivate an attitude of humility and courage that invites our ongoing openness to feedback and learning.
  • Practice ongoing self-connection to stretch and be responsive to ever-changing needs. 

To learn more about Roxy Manning: www.roxannemanning.com

Complementary module

In an additional 4-day exploration, designed for those who train, facilitate or support groups and wish to develop a deeper insight into intra-group dynamics, we will explore the factors that:

  • Reduce or increase safety for participants, both individually and systemically.
  • Mitigate power dynamics between group participants to support safety and increase participation for all.
  • Support harvesting the information embedded in challenges to their leadership without defensiveness.
  • Support tracking their own power and privilege and learning how to leverage it in service of the whole.
  • Utilize awareness of the intersection of personal power and positional power of the leader to support choices in group facilitation.

The complementary module will build on what happens in the main module to learn about the real dynamics that will take place there and how they will have been handled.

The 1st part of the complementary module will offer ways to identify power & privilege dynamics and how to address them.

The 2nd part of the complementary module will focus on the identification and analysis of the power and privilege dynamics that emerged during the main training or that participants bring from prior experiences and offer skills and strategies to address them.

Pedagogy

This interactive and experiential workshop will seek to draw on the wisdom and experiences of all those present as well as the real-life dynamics within the group. We will offer participants body practices to become aware of our reactions to challenging topics or situations and identify individual and group strategies to welcome them and regain choice.   In addition to whole group instruction, affinity groups will provide an opportunity for care and resonance. Multiple avenues for care will be offered, including empathy in affinity groups, regular homegroup time, and support from assistants. 

  • Didactic whole-group learning sessions.
  • Experiential practices.
  • Affinity groups for deepening learning, targeted exploration and empathic support.
  • Experienced assistants offering small group coaching and limited individual coaching and empathic support.
  • The training will be in English with French translation and will be accessible to both French and English speaking participants.

Roxy Manning and assistants commit to showing up vulnerably, modeling inviting and receiving feedback nondefensively, demonstrating how to support groups in inviting and facilitating discussions about the systemic, even when personally impacted and attempting to navigate between impacts on the personal and the systemic level without dropping either.

FAQ

Can I participate only in the main 6-day module or only in the complementary module ?

It is possible to participate only in the main module. It is not possible to participate only in the add-on.
Indeed, we designed this course so that the two parts build on and deepen each other. The 6 days of the core module will provide a solid theoretical foundation and exploration for people who want to learn about issues of power and privilege, while the 4 days of the add-on module will provide opportunities to embed and expand skills for people who facilitate groups.

Our preference, then, is to prioritize registration for those who can attend the full course.

And COVID ?

Although we do not know what the health situation will be at the time of the internship, we want to take care of people at risk who would like to participate. For this, we will propose a Covid protocol adapted to the circumstances of the moment. Currently, the strategies being considered are:
– No proof of vaccination will be requested.
– It is likely that we will ask to carry out a PCR and/or antigenic test before and/or during the course.
– Wearing a mask will be required in group spaces and indoors, except during meals.

A detailed Covid protocol, to which we will ask participants to subscribe, will be sent a month and a half before the course. If a person does not wish to commit to respecting it, for whatever reason, they will have 15 days to cancel their registration (and their deposit will be returned to them).