Moves & Skills for Anti-Racist Coaching & Facilitation

Purpose:

This is a tool for collaborative learning and reflection and is intended as a work in progress, a living document. It is not, by any means, a definitive tool. The numbering and lettering in this document are used to facilitate ease of collaborative discussions, not a ranking system.

Practice SJE principles

Some Facilitation Moves

  1. Provide opportunities to reflect on the vision, mission, and key priorities with regard to SJE principles.
  2. Help educators understand the needs of our youth by sharing demographic and performance data on youth.
  3. Create professional community norms that are grounded by SJE principles.
  4. Expect and accept nonclosure to SJE work.
  5. Design professional learning experiences for educators that center and promote the voices and agency of marginalized groups.

Examples of reactions and responses

  1. Invite others to reflect on the posted norms, add to them, and discuss them with each other.
  2. Remind people that we are here for the young people.
  3. Ask the question, how are marginalized people being represented?
  4. Remind people that we are at different places in SJE journey; this work is lifelong.
  5. Remind people that we are on this journey to become change agents beyond the classroom.

Listen to understand, not judge or advise

Some Facilitation Moves

  1. Listen without judgment.
  2. Acknowledge and validate feelings.
  3. Seek to understand a person’s point of view.
  4. Accept that there is room for misunderstanding and miscommunication; stay in dialogue.
  5. Recognize that communication is a two-way process. It is not only about your intentions; it is also about the speaker’s reactions to your body language, tone, and words. You are accountable for the impact.

Examples of reactions and responses

  1. Be aware of your own cognitive reactions (e.g., momentary mental freeze, fight or flight response).
  2. Notice what happens to you emotionally and physically (e.g., changes in body position, increased heart or breathing rate, sweating, turning red in the face, rapid eye blinking).
  3. Pay attention to your facial expression. Assume a nonjudgmental expression.
  4. Pay attention to your tone. Self-monitor for judgment.
  5. Ask clarifying questions.
  6. Restate what you are hearing.

Take a stand against racism

Some Facilitation Moves

  1. Normalize “calling out” and taking a stand against actions that are discriminatory or racist. Doing nothing is colluding with oppression.
  2. Build an accountable learning culture in which we notice oppression, name the type of oppression and commit to being brave in how we interrupt and transform it.
  3. Discuss examples of microaggressions and lessons learned. Invite people to propose strategies for responding to microaggressions.
  4. Seek others out for allyship in confronting all forms of oppression and work in solidarity to dismantle racism. SJE work is intersectional.

Examples of reactions and responses

Process Responses:

  1. Use discussion protocols and digital literacy media resources to model interrupting racial oppression (e.g., video resources).
  2. Provide explicit instruction on cultural and social identities, including intersectionality in the context of SJE work in the classroom.
  3. Model both/and thinking, avoid either/or
  4. Represent different narratives that portray people as multifaceted and complex. Resist the “single story.”

Verbal Responses:

  1. “Can you share your evidence to support your statement/belief?”
  2. “Tell me more about your thinking.”
  3. “I would like to hear what others are thinking.”
  4. “So, what I’m hearing you say is…”
  5. “I’m struggling with what you are saying, but I want to hear more.”
  6. “We all need to be careful and respectful with our words.”

Foster a caring, supportive learning community

Some Facilitation Moves

  1. Center yourself with mindfulness. (“Breathe into your discomfort.”)
  2. Create spaces for racial affinity groups.
  3. Celebrate successes, individual and collective, in advancing SJE work.
  4. Invite people to check-in with one another for ongoing support and care.
  5. Provide opportunities for people to make suggestions for follow-up action steps.

Examples of reactions and responses

  1. Set up a learning environment (physical or virtual) that supports courageous conversations.
  2. Create physical or virtual racial affinity breakouts to promote collaborative learning and support.
  3. Encourage collaboration through one-on-one, small group, and whole-group discussion.
  4. Take the time needed to process, reflect, and confront a racist comment. Caution: silence is compliance.
  5. “I need a moment to think about or reflect on what you just said.”
  6. “What do others think about what ___ said?”
  7. Build an open and honest partnership with your cofacilitator in addressing SJE issues and facilitation challenges.

Embrace a growth mindset

Some Facilitation Moves

  1. Accept that you are not an expert in SJE issues.
  2. Expect to make mistakes many times. This work is a journey, not a destination.
  3. Get over your need to be perfect and error-free.
  4. Educate yourself on understanding racism, its impact on trauma, and SJE issues.
  5. Commit to holding up the mirror, not looking out the window, and to a life of learning and self-reflection.

Examples of reactions and responses

  1. Seek out people who can advance your thinking on SJE issues.
  2. Incorporate critical feedback for growth.
  3. Share SJE resources with others for further learning and reflection.
  4. Practice being courageous even if it means saying things that feel uncomfortable or awkward.
  5. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and lean into your learning edges. Use “I” statements.
  6. Continue to work on yourself and set personal goals in order to grow and evolve your thinking and impact in SJE work.