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Race and conflict

Tools to transform conflicts across differences

Experiential training

3-4 hours (tailored to the needs of client)

Participant number: up to 30

This training explores conflicts through experiential exercises, theory, and discussion. Participants will learn a structural framework to address the conflicts that inevitably arise in communities and organizations, and gain an awareness of their own conflict tendencies as well as how their reactions impact the outcome. We will explore communication skills, both basic and specialized to address power and privilege. Participants will develop the capacity to manage multilayered conflicts when they arise.

How we engage with conflicts matter

All of who we are—i.e. our race, gender, class, ability, age—and how the diverse cultures in our society view conflicts affect how we navigate difficult conversations and situations. Conflicts can destroy or be a catalyst for change and action. How we approach conflicts matter. Raising our awareness of how we engage with conflicts both individually and systemically can greatly change the outcome.

Impact of institutional racism

White institutional culture encourages competition and situations quickly become a “zero-sum” game in which there is a winner and a loser. Disputes in the United States often end up being handled through the legal system, taking the power to make decisions out of the hands of those who are most affected. Competitive environments without an understanding of the impacts of institutional racism creates inequities and discourages mutual understanding and collaboration.

Engage across differences rather than avoid

Dimensions of diversity greatly inform and affect the way we perceive and respond to conflict. Conflict is complicated enough. When we add the dimension of diversity, it can become explosive. Our tendency to avoid conflicts could further harm the situation, as conflicts “harden” and people dig into their positions the longer they wait to resolve it. Organizationally, this can lead to diminished productivity, effectiveness, and wellness. Conflict takes both financial and emotional toll on all of us.

Create a culture of collaboration

Conflicts are inevitable. Race is an integral component in this country. Develop skills to transform conflicts involving race into healthy conversations that increase resiliency, creative problem solving and deeper empathy to create a sustainable culture of collaboration.

Co-facilitated with Robin Schlenger, MSW, LCSW

Robin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, She is an Antiracist Clinical Supervisor, Consultant, Trainer, Coach and Organizer with over 11 years of supervisory experience. Robin received her Master’s Degree in Social Work and SIFI certification from New York University She also utilizes Psychodramatic and Drama Therapy techniques in her trainings. Her experience includes providing individual and group clinical supervision with an anti-racist and antioppressive lens for social workers, creative arts therapists, licensed mental health counselors and school counselors. Robin has worked in a multitude of settings including psychiatric hospitals, therapeutic schools,children’s residential facilities, outpatient treatment centers, NYC public schools,and private practice (individual and group therapy.) Before beginning her own business she served as a Clinical Director for a local community based Organization for several years.

Besides her own projects, Robin is currently a Senior Consultant with MPG Consulting, where she specializes in antiracist coaching, facilitated conversations, trainings, and workshops that are rooted in restorative and anti-racist principles. She also serves on the leadership team of European Dissent (ED) which is an Affinity Group of The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB.) ED is a group of people of European descent who "dissent" from the ideology of white supremacy and organize together with other whites and people of color to undo racism. Robin also organizes with PISAB as a volunteer, supporting their Undoing Racism and Community Organizing Workshops.

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