I run Ally Skills Workshops for groups of people interested in learning how to step up and use their societal advanatages to help marginalized people. My workshops are based off the Ada Initiative's model and incorporate some of its CC licensed materials, as well as materials by Val Aurora and additional materials that I have developed. I currently have two different versions - one aimed specifically at sexism and transphobia, and another that aims at teaching broader political ally skills, including bystander intervention and how to have discussions with defensive people.
What's an ally? And what's this workshop?
An ally is someone who stands up in support of members of another social identity group; typically a member of a dominant group standing beside member(s) of a group being discriminated against or treated unjustly. The Ally Skills workshop is a 2.5-3 hour interactive session for people to work on developing their ally skills in a safe and comfortable learning environment.
The post-election ally skills workshop teaches three different intervention styles with different goals. Participants practice basic ally responses, which aim primarily to set norms about acceptable behavior; bystander intervention strategies, which aim to intervene to assist targets of harassment directly; and strategies for talking to defensive people about hard topics, which aim to change minds.
The anti-sexism and transphobia workshop specifically focuses on helping people recognize problematic patterns, develop language to call out casual sexism and transphobia, and respond to uncomfortable situations. If you've ever come away from a conversation with someone who said something casually misogynistic and wished that you had known how to respond, this is for you.
Here's what some participants have said about their experiences at my workshops:
What kinds of group is this workshop appropriate for?
All kinds of groups, so long as the members want to learn how to be better allies! I'm particularly comfortable running it for groups of people in academia or in technology, but certainly happy to chat about whether we can find a way to make it work for your organization. I've run versions at academic centers, at community organizations, and for the public, to name some groups.
Will you come run it for my group?
Quite possibly! Contact me (kendra dot serra at gmail dot com) and we can talk about what you're looking for, rates, and timing. For organizations that are interested in running the workshop for their members, I usually customize the scenarios, so don't be surprised if your workshop looks different than the ones linked above. If you'd like to talk to someone at an organization where I've ran a workshop to hear about a participant viewpoint, let me know and I'll connect you.