Discussion Norms

1. "Try on" new ideas and ways of thinking

Practice releasing judgment.

Be curious.  Simply notice.


2. It's okay to disagree with ideas, not people
One tendency in dominant culture is to personalize mistakes and
disagreements. A ‘wrong’ idea does not make the person ‘wrong.’


3. Avoid shaming and blaming others or yourself
Check your defensiveness and self-righteousness at the door. 

Allowing for difference is a practice.


4. Respect confidentiality
Another’s story remains their story even after you have heard it. 

Always ask for permission to reference someone else’s experience, 

no matter how ‘neutral’ it feels.


5. Practice self-awareness: Use "I" statements
This helps us practice multiplicity. 

Each of us has a unique experience to share.

 

6. Be aware of intention verses impact
Sometimes what you say will be felt differently than your intent. Sometimes what you hear will affect you in a way that was not meant. This is a listening practice, hearing the other’s response and learning about our own impact.

 

7. It's ok to not have known
Racial justice is transformational work. None of us has all the answers.

 

8. Know when to step forward 

and when to step back
This is a simple practice in assuring that all are heard and held in community.

 

9. Practice self-care
This is essential for resilience and to give room for others to do the same for themselves.

 

10. Listen to understand, not just to respond
We are in a learning environment. 

This helps us expand our understanding.

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