Help with identifying students who may be ready for advanced racial equity training
Q: We require all our students that work or do volunteer service work with youth to complete a day-long racial equity workshop. It’s a 101-level experience, but how do I gauge and identify students that are ready for a 201?
A: I’m delighted you want to do a next level.
This could be racial affinity groups; it could be a 201 level or even a 1.5 bridge. I’m thinking this next level would really look at white privilege, the common dynamics of racism and also maybe some internalized dominance and internalized racism, and empowerment for both people of color and white folks to practice how to speak up and interrupt racist dynamics.
First, set the context of what you’re planning to do in the next level, E.G.
In the next workshop, we are going to be doing racial affinity groups. In the white affinity space, we’re going to talk honestly about the daily racist dynamics that happen, when we have had racist attitudes and behaviors ourselves, and ways we can interrupt them in us and other whites BEFORE we negatively impact people of color. And in the people of color space, we’re going to talk about the daily grind of racism in our lives and then how do we support each other and how might we want to speak up or at least seek support to address the racist dynamics we’re experiencing.
A few ideas for identifying students who are ready for this next level of work:
Self-assessment. Offer the type of skills and activities that you are looking to develop and have them use a 0 to 10 scale to reflect, not at all ready, completely ready and not at all willing, totally willing.
Continuum. List these on a chart and have participants make tick marks or add stickers to where they are, and you’ll get a sense of the readiness/willingness among the room. And then you could ask those who scored themselves higher to opt in to a “next level”
Scenarios. Create some realistic scenarios of things that happen when students are out partnering with community members to dismantle oppression and create liberation. Have them write out their “what would you do” answers. It could be an activity in your 101 or in the evaluation. Those whose ideas and responses seem more advanced can be invited to the next level of training.
You could put all these on a worksheet and anonymously have people write out what they might say and then have each worksheet with a number on it or a symbol and then you review the responses and send out an email that says, “You’ve been identified as someone who’s interested and willing”.
Ask different supervisors, advisors to review the workshop list of participants and anybody else they work with and suggest who they think might be ready based on your learning outcomes. NOTE: advisors and supervisors may not even be ready for the 101 session, so they may not understand enough to recommend, but it’s another way for you to get a few more names to consider.